Windows 11 Copilot leak gives us a glimpse of the AI assistant in action

A leaked preview of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 Copilot AI tool gives us a glimpse at how it might work in action. This centralized AI assistant is expected to arrive as an optional experience for PCs soon, and it will let users perform tasks like summarizing documents and creating music playlists, as well as customize settings, provide tech support, and more.

It also has the ability to integrate with apps in the same way that the chatbots built into Microsoft Edge and Office apps can. The idea is to make the experience more useful than a search bar on its own or simply a shortcut in your taskbar.

The interface looks a lot like the sidebar that has been added to Edge, Office, and GitHub, and it can be launched from anywhere in the desktop by clicking on a Copilot button in the taskbar. The AI will reportedly be able to answer questions in natural language and do a wide range of other tasks, including rewriting content in apps and websites, analyzing photos, rearranging files on your computer, and interpreting voice commands.

As a demo video shows, you can also ask Copilot to change your Windows 11 settings, such as turning on Dark Mode or setting up a password for a specific site. Alternatively, you can use it to find and install a new app. The bot can also summarize content in apps, such as a website or Word document, and even explain it for you. It can even make recommendations for music, movies, and restaurants based on your preferences.

Finally, you can ask Copilot to open a specific file or program, or it can search for information online. It can even help you set up a call or email with someone, and it will automatically open the appropriate app and create a note in your calendar.

At the Build developer conference, Microsoft’s chief product officer Panos Panay demonstrated what he called “Copilot,” the company’s most significant AI upgrade for Windows 11. The feature uses the rendering capabilities of Microsoft Edge to offer centralized AI assistance across desktop apps and devices.

Copilot essentially takes the AI chatbot built into Edge and Microsoft Office and expands on it to give you a more complete digital assistant experience on your PC. It can do everything that Bing Chat does, plus it can rewrite or summarize documents, make music suggestions, and connect across multiple apps and desktop programs.

It can even be used to control other features of your PC, such as changing the screen resolution or launching specific programs. As a bonus, you can also download plugins to enhance the bot’s functionality. For example, if you ask for a restaurant recommendation in Fulham, it can activate the OpenTable plugin and bring up a list of potential restaurants to choose from. The plugins will be built using the same plug-in model that ChatGPT Pro uses, so they shouldn’t be difficult to develop.