Microsoft Unveils Major Enhancements to AI App-Building Platforms

  • Elaine Johnson
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Microsoft Unveils Major Enhancements to AI App-Building Platforms

At the latest Build conference, Microsoft unveiled powerful new features for its AI platforms, Azure AI Studio and Copilot Studio, aimed at transforming the way developers create generative AI applications. These updates promise to significantly enhance app development capabilities and user experience through their robust toolsets and integrations.

Azure AI Studio, part of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, allows developers to use advanced AI models, such as OpenAI's GPT-4, combined with their own data. This enables the creation of sophisticated chat assistants and other intelligent applications. The new updates introduce "model-as-a-service" with pay-as-you-go inference APIs, which allow developers to fine-tune generative AI models on Azure infrastructure. Initially, models from Nixtla and Core42 are available, and more providers are expected soon.

The latest capabilities in Azure AI Studio, now in preview, enhance app training and debugging by comparing different versions and monitoring production usage and quality. Users can visualize trends and set custom alerts, improving the overall app development experience. Enhanced integration with Microsoft Purview helps to secure data against unauthorized access and detect potential data risks, offering robust protection for sensitive information.

On the other hand, Copilot Studio introduces Copilot agents, AI bots designed to handle tasks independently within business workflows. These agents leverage memory and contextual knowledge to navigate tasks and seek assistance when needed. Microsoft CVP of business applications, Charles Lamanna, highlighted how Copilot Studio orchestrates dynamic workflows, enabling developers to automate complex tasks seamlessly.

Additionally, Copilot Studio now features extensions and connectors, both in preview. Extensions allow developers to tailor AI copilots with specific instructions and actions from plugins, which are suitable for varied tasks such as expense reporting. Connectors facilitate grounding copilots with organizational knowledge from diverse sources, enhancing their utility. This includes data from SharePoint, OneDrive, Dataverse, public websites, and more.

Microsoft's continuous investment in AI underscores its commitment to driving innovation and empowering developers. These enhancements to Azure AI Studio and Copilot Studio provide versatile tools for building smarter, more efficient AI-powered applications, paving the way for cutting-edge technological advancements.

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