It was around 16 months ago generative AI technology was introduced into our lives when the infamous ChatGPT (also referred to as ChatGPT-3) was released into the market. During this time, conversations around AI have increased exponentially as technology seems to become increasingly ingrained into everyday life. You only have to look so far as Apple's Apple Vision Pro, touted as 'Apple's first spatial computer' - a mixed-reality headset that "seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world" to understand just how far we've come in such a short space of time.

We've had a lot to contend with in a relatively short space of time. Almost a year after the inception of its generative AI counterpart ChatGPT, the eagerly anticipated Microsoft Copilot was introduced into the tech space (official launch on November 1st, 2023, for enterprise customers).

Therefore, now we've had some time to get used to our new AI assistants, our leading technology experts and Microsoft Gold Partners here at Netitude are here to explain exactly what ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot are, what features they offer users, how they differ, the business use cases of each, and so on.

If you're a fan or a novice of ChatGPT or Microsoft Copilot, this blog will be more than worth your time. Therefore, strap yourself in, make sure you're comfortable, and scroll down to see what we have in store!

Introduction to ChatGPT

Let's start with the more senior of the two technologies: ChatGPT. The AI assistant was created by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) research organisation based in San Francisco. During the last few years, they have built quite a reputation because of their groundbreaking work in developing large-scale language models (LLMs) and other forms of AI-related tech.

The inspiration behind the launch of ChatGPT was initially considered to be a "research preview", said an internal member of the OpenAI team; the project was put to market with fairly low expectations in terms of popularity and was merely an attempt to gauge feedback and address the flaws of the product.

Little did they know they had just stumbled upon a piece of software that was about to take the world by storm. Here are some shocking stats showing how prevalent OpenAI's touted research preview has become globally.

  1. Daily Users: It's estimated that ChatGPT boasts approximately 13 million daily users, which is roughly the entire population of Rwanda!
  2. Monthly Users: On a broader scale, an estimated 1 billion users (around 12.5% of the global population) interact with ChatGPT each month.
  3. Revenue: As of 2023, OpenAI's technological breakthrough generated an estimated monthly revenue of $80 million and is projected to achieve a total annual revenue of $1 billion this year (2024).
  4. Record-Breaking Growth: The ChatGPT website set a new record in the tech world when, just five days after launch, the Generative AI tool amassed 1 million users!

So, as we can see, ChatGPT has become somewhat of a global phenomenon; therefore, let's turn our attention towards its counterpart, Microsoft Copilot, to see how it fares.

Introduction to Microsoft Copilot

In an event hosted in New York in the autumn of 2023, Microsoft announced their groundbreaking vision for Microsoft Copilot, a product they've dubbed "a digital companion for your whole life". They announced that Microsoft 365 Copilot would be available for their enterprise customers (larger organisations and corporate entities requiring specialised services and solutions). So, the question is: what type of product did they release into the market?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered digital assistant explicitly designed to provide personalised assistance for various tasks and activities. Its current capabilities can give you a helping hand to cover a range of things, including:

  1. Code Writing and Development: Copilot has the power to generate code snippets, complete functions, and provide context-aware suggestions whilst supporting multiple programming languages and frameworks.
  2. Writing and Content Creation: It also comes in handy when drafting emails, essays, documents, and creative content pieces. It does all of this while suggesting relevant phrases, synonyms, and grammatical improvements.
  3. Learning and Research: Research can often be time-consuming and laborious; however, Copilot can simplify the research process by summarising articles, explaining key concepts concisely, and providing a range of information on any topic you require.
  4. Productivity and Organisation: Copilot will assist you by compiling daily to-do lists, reminders and calendar events, leaving you to focus on the tasks that matter.
  5. Creative Content Generation: Are creative juices running slow? Copilot can step into the creative process with helpful inspiration and guidance where required to help content creators produce high-quality content consistently.

We all know that productivity is key, and content is king; therefore, Copilot is a great tool to help people excel in their professional and personal lives.

Microsoft Copilot vs ChatGPT: Spot the Difference?

There are many similarities to remember when distinguishing between these two relatively new artificial intelligence assistants. Perhaps the most key similarity is that in January 2023, Microsoft and OpenAI chose to extend their partnership. Microsoft jumped at the opportunity to join forces by leveraging OpenAI's advanced large language models (LLMs)—a form of technology resulting from a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) models that excel in understanding and generating human language.

Now, let's look at some more significant differences between the two.

Primary Use Cases 

Microsoft Copilot: Copilot's essential aim is to enhance productivity within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It integrates seamlessly with the most commonly used Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

ChatGPT: The word that best describes the essence of ChatGPT is its versatility. It can be used for many tasks, including answering frequently asked questions (FAQs), composing essays, writing code, summarising content, and even creating poems or stories if prompted. It is a conversational form of AI technology that can accurately mimic human dialogue.

Integration With Other Applications

Microsoft Copilot: Arguably, one of the biggest selling points of Microsoft Copilot is its seamless integration with the other widely used Microsoft 365 products, such as Teams, Outlook, and Word, to name a few. This level of integration allows users to leverage Copilot's chat capabilities directly within these applications, enhancing productivity, reducing the risk of distraction and assisting with tasks intertwined with content creation, coding and information retrieval.

ChatGPT:  ChatGPT is equally versatile when integrated with other applications. Its capabilities extend beyond simple chat interactions, making it suitable for various use cases. For example, web developers can integrate ChatGPT-3 with web services, application programming interfaces (APIs), and other tools to create customised applications or enhance pre-existing versions. 

Content Creation 

Microsoft Copilot: According to Statista, approximately 36% of digital content creators spend between one and five hours weekly creating and editing content to post online. Furthermore, around 200 million people worldwide consider themselves content creators; that's a lot of people who could benefit from Copilot's input into the creative process. The tech can revolutionise research by instantly providing information on various topics, generating complex code instantaneously, and adapting its content based on the context provided – helping users create tailored, thought-provoking material. 

ChatGPT:  ChatGPT is predominantly used for writing assistance, including drafting emails and composing long-form articles. It can also be a handy tool for bouncing ideas. If you get yourself in a creative tizz, ChatGPT can help by providing fresh ideas, prompts, or alternative angles on any given topic.

Precision vs Imprecision

Microsoft Copilot: In terms of precision, the responses that Copilot generates are, more often than not, concise, to the point and tailored to specific tasks. It can more than hold its own when handling complex and longer tasks, which makes it ideally suited to professional use cases. However, it is still quite limited in terms of functionality; document uploads and DALL-E image generation may be limited for the time being. People who use Copilot's free version may be limited even more so in terms of lack of precision and functionality. 

ChatGPT: As we've already covered, ChatGPT offers users an array of creative-inducing features and factual accuracy that can be leveraged to create precise and pristine pieces of work. Its shortcomings concerning imprecision lie in the fact that some of its features fall slightly short of its counterpart, Copilot. However, it can make up ground if users opt-in for a paid subscription and Chat-GPT-4 model.

Choosing Between AI Assistants: Why Microsoft Copilot Wins

Of the two AI assistants we've covered in this blog, my clear preference is for Microsoft Copilot, and here's why:

  1. Integration with Microsoft 365: Copilot seamlessly interacts with Microsoft 365, a game-changer for my role as a Virtual IT Director. It directly accesses my work emails, documents, and templates within the Microsoft ecosystem, streamlining my workflow.
  2. Email Insights: Copilot remembers recent email conversations, providing quick recaps before meetings. This feature ensures I'm well-prepared and maintains continuity in interactions.
  3. Document Retrieval: Copilot excels at finding existing files and templates, preventing duplication of work. Whether it's proposals, contracts, or presentations, Copilot simplifies the process.
  4. Meeting Summaries: During Microsoft Teams meetings, Copilot generates concise summaries of discussion points. I no longer have to sift through lengthy transcripts—I get the key takeaways upfront.
  5. Privacy and Security: Copilot respects sensitive information. I can confidently ask questions involving private data, knowing it won't compromise confidentiality.

In summary, Microsoft Copilot's integration, efficiency, and privacy features make it an indispensable tool for professionals. If you're seeking an AI assistant that seamlessly fits into your Microsoft workflow, Copilot is the clear winner.


The Bottom Line

Now it's time to settle the million-dollar question: which AI assistant comes out on top? From a productivity perspective, both AI assistants can enhance people's work in various ways. Moreover, both tools are still in their infancy stages from a technological standpoint and, therefore, have a long way to go regarding their offering from both a professional and a personal capacity.

If you'd like to learn more about these AI assistants or have any business-related tech queries that need solving, contact our friendly teams of experts today!


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