Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool headed to OneNote. Here's what it can do for you

Joining other Microsoft 365 apps, OneNote's Copilot AI integration will work behind the scenes alongside a business chat tool.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Image of a hand holding a phone with the Microsoft 365 logo
SOPA Images/Getty Images

Microsoft is bringing some AI smarts to its OneNote application in a bid to help you more easily and quickly generate the content you need. In a blog post published Wednesday, OneNote product manager Greg Mace revealed that the Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool is coming to OneNote.

Already announced for other Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, the Copilot integration for OneNote will combine large language models (LLMs) such as Open AI's GPT-4 with your notes, calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and other data. As such, the tool aims to assist you in two key ways, according to Microsoft.

Also: How to use ChatGPT to create an app

First, the Copilot AI will work behind the scenes to try to help you as you work. Second, it will offer a business chat feature through which you can actively seek assistance. By chatting with the software, you can ask it to generate certain information based on natural language queries. The goal is to save you time and effort by tackling more mundane tasks or creating repetitive content for you.

Microsoft provided these examples for what you could ask Copilot in OneNote to do include:

  • "Summarize notes into bullet points on a new page."
  • "Generate a list of topics and talking points to be covered in an annual investor update meeting."
  • "Plan a spring trip to Paris for me, my partner, and my two teenage children."
  • "I'm starting a wholesale coffee bean and roasting company. Give me 10 suggestions for a company name and vision statement."

In response, the AI will analyze your raw notes, emails, and other data and automatically create the associated content.

Also: 5 ways to use chatbots to make your life easier

"Copilot in OneNote helps you create, capture, organize, and recall information with confidence," Mace said in the blog post. "As your notetaking partner, Copilot uses your prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists, organize information, and more. Copilot can transform existing text by summarizing, rewriting, formatting, and adding visual context. Uplevel your digital notebook with natural language commands to reorganize your notebook, adjust formatting, and highlight what's important."

Microsoft 365 Copilot in OneNote

Microsoft 365 Copilot aims to bring AI smarts to OneNote.

Microsoft/Screenshot by ZDNET

With OpenAI's ChatGPT shaking up the tech world, companies are rushing to jump on the bandwagon. Microsoft has already unveiled its own Bing AI chat tool available in its Edge browser. The company also has a Bing Image Creator that designs images based on text descriptions. But the real test of AI will be whether it can smoothly integrate into the applications you use every day and help you without infringing on your privacy, security, and other areas.

Also: The best AI chatbots

Aiming Copilot at enterprise users for now, Mace said that Microsoft's work with AI is reviewed for privacy issues and other potential problems by a team of researchers, engineers, and policy experts. The company uses the Azure Content Moderation Stack to monitor and filter harmful content and taps into technologies such as InterpretML and Fairlearn to detect and correct possible data bias, Mace added.

Mace didn't reveal a specific timeframe for the OneNote Copilot integration. But Microsoft previously said that it's testing Copilot with a small group of customers to improve the product based on feedback and that it will bring Copilot to all its productivity apps in the months ahead.

Editorial standards