Microsoft Build Conference 2023 Session Summary: The Era of the AI Copilot

The main theme of “The era of the AI Copilot” session was to discuss the rapid change in technology in the past few years and what Microsoft is going to contribute in the field of AI to make the impossible possible. Kevin Scott (Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of AI) presented the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI which lays the foundation for Microsoft AI Copilot.

Kevin Scott has a long 20-year career in technology which spans both academia and industry as a researcher, engineer and leader. Before joining Microsoft, he worked in multiple companies like LinkedIn and Google as an engineer and operations manager. This makes him the right person to present the technological changes in application building over the years and especially in the era of AI and ML.

The presenter started by discussing the successful partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, which provides an end-to-end platform for AI development. Since then, Microsoft has developed the world's most powerful supercomputers, foundation models (Base AI models), and AI infrastructure. He proceeded with saying, “Microsoft believes Azure is the cloud for AI”. Microsoft has worked with OpenAI to improve the infrastructure for carrying out AI tasks on this cloud platform. Microsoft Windows also serves as the best client for AI development where you can run powerful AI models on it. The presenter then discussed Copilot applications built by Microsoft. Copilot is an application that uses modern AI to assist users with complex Cognitive tasks. Users interface with Copilot through the use of plugins, each of which carries out a specific digital task of interest. Additionally, Copilot’s AI infrastructure model will provide users the ability to build their own Copilots.

The complete Copilot stack was also discussed. The presenter gave a complete and thorough overview of the three tiers of the stack. The top layer is Copilot’s frontend, which consists of the plugins and the UX. The middle layer is the business logic, which performs all Copilot tasks. The lower layer consists of the Foundation models built on top of the AI infrastructure.

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Greg Brockman, President and Co-Founder of OpenAI, was also invited to speak about GPT and Chat GPT models. OpenAI is working on GPT 4, which will power parts of ChatGPT.