- Microsoft is embedding AI throughout its technology suite, according to a slew of product and platform updates announced Tuesday during the Microsoft Build conference. Doubling down on its commitment to AI amid waves of regulatory scrutiny, the company is providing customers with more ways to simplify, scale and ensure the safety of AI models built with its tools.
- Currently in preview, the updates to Azure OpenAI Service are expected to simplify the integration of external data sources into the platform. Microsoft said its Azure OpenAI Service has more than 4,500 customers, including Volvo and Ikea.
- Microsoft is integrating Azure AI Content Safety across products, a new service designed for organizations to detect and remove harmful content. The company is also updating Azure Machine Learning prompts to detect hate, violent, sexual and self-harm content across languages in both images and text.
As around 200,000 registered attendees gathered virtually and in person for Microsoft’s annual event, it was clear the theme traversing most platform updates and new features is AI. More specifically, generative AI.
“It’s not like I came in on January first and said ‘let’s start doing press releases,’ but it does feel like that,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said during the opening keynote Tuesday. “It feels like every week there is something new, infusing this new AI stack across all layers.”
Whether tools let developers build models more quickly, connect external data sources to a Microsoft platform, or act as a copilot for software engineers, they showcase Microsoft’s commitment to driving the industry's AI fervor.
Microsoft 365 Copilot can now connect to plugins from Adobe, ServiceNow, Atlassian, ChatGPT and Bing. Those using Microsoft 365 Copilot will be able to connect thousands of plugins by the time the tool becomes generally available in the coming months, according to the company.
“Positioning of AI capability as a copilot that keeps the user firmly in control but offers contextual assistance is the result of very careful consideration,” James Sanders, cloud and infrastructure principal analyst at CCS Insight, said in an email. “Microsoft consistently underlines that the technology is about supporting the user to increase productivity and enable focus on more important tasks.”
The updates come as more experts in the field float the idea of international regulation to adjudicate how organizations build and use AI.
Last week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that Congress should create a new agency capable of ensuring compliance with safety standards. Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s tech chief, said Tuesday the EU and U.S. are gearing up to establish minimum standards on AI before legislation starts, according to Reuters.