9:30:25 AM PDT - Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Microsoft goes all in on plugins for AI apps  

By Editor - Tue May 23, 7:57 am

Microsoft aims to extend its ecosystem of AI-powered apps and services, called “copilots,” with plugins from third-party developers. Today at its annual Build conference, Microsoft announced that it’s adopting the same plugin standard its close collaborator, OpenAI, introduced for ChatGPT, its AI-powered chatbot  — allowing developers to build plugins that work across ChatGPT , Bing Chat (on the web and in the Microsoft Edge sidebar), Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot and the newly launched Windows Copilot. “I think over the coming years, this will become an expectation for how all software works,” Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s CTO, said in a blog post shared with TechCrunch last week. Bold pronouncements aside, the new plugin framework lets Microsoft’s family of “copilots” — apps that use AI to assist users with various tasks, such as writing an email or generating images — interact with a range of different software and services. Using IDEs like Visual Studio, Codespaces and Visual Studio Code, developers can build plugins that retrieve real-time information, incorporate company or other business data and take action on a user’s behalf. A plugin could let the Microsoft 365 Copilot, for example, make arrangements for a trip in line with a company’s travel policy, query a site like WolframAlpha to solve an equation or answer questions about how certain legal issues at a firm were handled in the past. Customers in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program (plus ChatGPT Plus subscribers) will gain access to new plugins from partners in the coming weeks, including Atlassian, Adobe, ServiceNow, Thomson Reuters, Moveworks, and Mural. Bing Chat, meanwhile, will see new plugins added to its existing collection from Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin and Zillow, and those same Bing Chat plugins will come to Windows within Windows Copilot

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Microsoft goes all in on plugins for AI apps

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