In my last blog post, I delved into the details of the revolutionary ChatGPT plugin framework. This powerful feature set expanded the capabilities of the ChatGPT model beyond simple conversation and maintaining context, enabling connection with real-world services. Today, during the opening keynote of Microsoft Build 2023, Microsoft unveiled a leap forward in the usage of this framework, broadening its access and applicability. The common plugin platform, initially designed for ChatGPT, will soon extend across several other OpenAI-backed tools, such as GitHub Copilot, Bing Search, the Edge Bing sidebar, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, and more.
"Copilot" will replace the word "assistant" if Microsoft's plans succeed. This unified platform is sold as a game-changer in the realm of AI services. It essentially serves as a common X-as-a-Service plane, integrating the capabilities of various OpenAI-based tools to deliver a more unified and personalized user experience. Here are a few examples showcased at the conference, demonstrating the real-world applications of this platform:
Streamlined Grocery Shopping: If you're browsing a food recipe on your Edge browser, the platform can intelligently extract the ingredients and add them to your connected grocery shopping list service, saving you the hassle of manual entry.
Automated Legal Document Generation: By integrating a legal service with the platform, users can generate a legal document from a template. Copilot assists in iteratively improving the document, taking into account the connected service's understanding of liability and risk specific to a context and jurisdiction.
Boosted Focus Mode: If a user wants to concentrate on their work, the Windows Copilot provides actionable suggestions to activate features such as Windows Snap mode and dark mode, alongside a timer.
Podcast Automation: After recording a podcast, generate transcription; Using the web, generate a bio for the guest. Draft a social media post with cover art, and then posting it to LinkedIn. (see source code)
In addition to the extension of the ChatGPT plugin framework, Microsoft Build 2023 also introduced Azure AI Studio. This suite promises a flurry of features, empowering developers to construct and train their large-language models (LLM) using a combination of Azure OpenAI Services and both closed and open models. Key advertised features of Azure AI Studio include built-in vector indexing, the simplification of retrieval-augmented generation, and 'Prompt Workflows', which provide a visual means to design conversation flows (inputs, outputs) with AI. Under the hood we'll find open-source LangChain, Microsoft's Semantic Kernel, and of course numerous Azure-based AI services some of which are powered by OpenAI.
AI safety is to be a fundamental aspect of Azure AI Studio, ensuring AI endeavors remain secure and ethical. "Media provenance tools" are discussed as providing "[c]ryptographic methods used to mark and sign Al-generated content with metadata about its origin, enabling consumers to verify whether an image or video was generated by AI."
Microsoft's "BYO?" approach of Azure and .NET, inviting engineers from many tech stacks to jump in and build, will seemingly be a key component of Azure AI Studio. AI Studio will support a variety of hosted models with available fine-tuning as well as external models. This flexibility will allow us to leverage the power of Azure AI Studio, regardless of preferred or mandated models.
Microsoft is clearly reaping the benefits of their investments in OpenAI. However, there's no time for celebration, as the rapid pace of open innovation continues to keep the pressure on industry leaders like Microsoft and Google. Offering an extensible platform has proven to be a route to success, enhancing the value proposition of the platform for customers. As the customer reaps more benefits, the platform becomes an integral part of their operations.
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- "Welcome to LangChain"
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