Pushing boundaries: Microsoft AI integration, 3rd party plugin support for Copilot AI apps enhances functions and data privacy. Read here.

Microsoft raised the stakes for AI integration at their recent Build conference with the announcement of a broader integration of 3rd-party plugins into their Copilot AI applications.

Capitalizing on a plugin standard introduced by OpenAI for their ChatGPT chatbot, Microsoft is extending its AI ecosystem of apps and services.

These AI assistants, referred to as “copilots”, will work across platforms such as Bing Chat, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and the newly launched Windows Copilot.

Developers will be able to construct plugins that tap into real-time data, incorporate business-specific details, and act on users’ behalf, a significant step towards a more comprehensive AI experience.

AI Plugin Integrations the Future of Software

Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott is confident that this move will shape the expectations for future software development. “I think over the coming years, this will become an expectation for how all software works,” he stated in a recent blog post.

On a practical level, a plugin could enable the Microsoft 365 Copilot to arrange a business trip, solve equations via WolframAlpha, or dig into past legal cases at a company.

Customers enrolled in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program will gain access to new plugins developed by partners such as Atlassian, Adobe, and Thomson Reuters, among others, in the coming weeks.

Scott describes plugins as bridges that connect an AI system with private or proprietary data from a third party, offering a solution to the growing privacy concerns with generative AI.

This feature is seen as essential since AI tools are often trained on sensitive datasets, leading to potential data leaks – while this move could mitigate risks associated with data privacy and violations.

Three Types of Plugins Coming to Copilot AI


Three types of plugins will be included in Microsoft’s new framework: ChatGPT plugins, Microsoft Teams message extensions, and Power Platform connectors.

Teams message extensions will allow users to interact with web services in Teams, and Power Platform connectors will enable underlying services to communicate with apps in Microsoft’s Power Platform portfolio.

Microsoft is also extending the accessibility of Power Platform connectors.

They can now be used to import structured data into Microsoft’s “Dataverse”, a service that stores and manages data used by internal business apps.

For instance, a plugin developed for Jira can import data from Atlassian’s Confluence into the Dataverse without writing any new code – this data can then be accessed by Microsoft 365 Copilot.

As Microsoft takes a giant leap forward in the generative AI race with plugins, we can expect to see other major tech companies following suit.

Plugins could become a key revenue stream as AI reliance increases, and it may alleviate concerns of businesses who feel that generative AI trained on their data violates their rights.

As AI continues to transform the tech landscape, Microsoft’s bold move is likely to set a new precedent for software development and data privacy in the realm of generative AI.

Their pioneering step in this direction offers a glimpse into a future where AI is even more integrated and customizable than we could have ever imagined.


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