EP 37: The Giants in AI: Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT Explained

Defining Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT

In this episode of Tech UNMUTED, we take a deep dive into the often-confused realms of Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT. While both leverage cutting-edge AI technology, they serve distinct purposes. Microsoft Copilot integrates seamlessly into the Microsoft ecosystem, enhancing productivity with personalized responses based on user data. ChatGPT, a conversational AI by OpenAI, excels in general content creation and customer service, drawing knowledge from vast online resources. Join us as we clarify these differences, ensuring you understand and utilize these technologies to their fullest potential.

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INTRODUCTION VOICEOVER: This is Tech UNMUTED. The podcast of modern collaboration – where we tell the stories of how collaboration tools enable businesses to be more efficient and connected. With your hosts, George Schoenstein and Santi Cuellar. Welcome to Tech UNMUTED.

SANTI: Welcome to another episode of Tech UNMUTED, and today we're going to take a slightly different approach to our podcast in the sense that we've been talking a lot about ChatGPT, about Copilot, but what we haven't done is we haven't taken the time to step back and try to explain the difference between the two. Here's why. Things get confusing. The reason why things get confusing is because technically speaking, Microsoft's Copilot, at least the Microsoft 365 Copilot, the Copilot found in Windows 11 and the Copilot found in Microsoft Edge or better yet Bing, those Copilots are tapping into ChatGPT-4 and DALLE 3, which are, as we all know, the platforms, the AI generating platforms for OpenAI. OpenAI is the company, right?

Just because they are tapping into these platforms to help generate the results for Microsoft users, it does not mean that they're the same. I just wanted to take, it'll be a short episode, I just want to really differentiate the two so that when we speak about them, we're not using them interchangeably because you can't, right? When we speak about them, we mention ChatGPT or we mention Copilot, we understand the difference between the two.

That's what I meant by taking a slightly different approach because we have a lot of AI-focused content and we have a lot more coming. Why? Well, because it's the hot topic, right? People want to know about Copilot. They want to know about ChatGPT. It just gets a little bit overwhelming. Let's take a timeout. Let's reel it in and let's just talk about that. Let's start off with, well, ChatGPT.

ChatGPT was introduced November of 2022, so just over a year, a year ago, by a company called OpenAI. It was and is a conversational AI model using what's called large language models and machine learning to respond to human input in the form of a chatbot, or at least it behaves very similar to a chatbot. That is ChatGPT, okay? If you haven't tried it yet, you probably should. It's been out for a year.

There is three versions of ChatGPT. There is a free version. It's good for testing, good for getting your feet wet. What's your limitations with the free version? I think the free version is based on ChatGPT-3, not 4, I think. That might have changed. I'm not really sure. Sometimes maybe you're like in a queue waiting to use it because other people are using it or other paid users are being prioritized over a free user. Okay, but at least you get the gist of it. You get to get in there and ask some questions and get some responses and get an idea, okay?

Then they have ChatGPT Plus, which is a 20-dollar-a-month subscription. It has other features, other APIs and plugins that you can use. Finally, there's ChatGPT Enterprise, which is like a larger license, more of a-- I don't want to call it a blanket license, but I guess it's for a company-wide usage. Anyway, that is ChatGPT. Think of it as a chatbot that is able to have a conversation with you and it's able to return responses generated by your input.

Now, where does it get, here's where I want you to understand, where does ChatGPT get the knowledge from? This is what the large language models do. They have a lot of data. ChatGPT gets its language or its knowledge from the internet, from books that have been digitized and scanned, just about anything you can think of that's digitized and out there, and images as well, because it's able to look at images.

It gets its information from that, but it has a knowledge update. I don't know if it's going to be once a year. I don't know what the schedule is, but the last knowledge update it had was January of 2023. If you're trying to get an answer for something that took place after January 2023, it will return a response saying, "I don't have that information," and it'll tell you when did the knowledge base stop, so then you have to wait for the next update.

That is ChatGPT, all right. Clear, we understand it, it's a great technology. Here comes Microsoft Copilot. Microsoft Copilot was developed using openAI technology, which includes ChatGPT-4, DALL.E 3. Yes, that is true, but they're not the same, okay? Unlike ChatGPT, what Microsoft Copilot aims to be, and is, is really more of an AI companion inside of the Microsoft ecosystem, okay?

In other words, it's an AI companion that has been integrated into the Microsoft applications, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams. By the way, it keeps going because I'm hearing things about how it's going to be introduced into the Power Platforms and how it's going to be introduced into SharePoint. It's just going to keep going, but the key here is that what it is, it's an AI companion that will live inside of the Microsoft ecosystem, okay? It will basically contextualize and personalize responses.

Now here's the difference, okay? Remember what I told you, that it is using ChatGPT and DALLE 3 to generate responses, it's using that platform. The difference between Copilot is that its data, its data is leveraging your data. Microsoft Graph, and there's an episode where I explain what Graph is, but basically it is how the artificial intelligence can look at data. It looks at the data as a visual graph, everything, emails, text, Teams messages, SharePoint sites. It just kind of--and it creates a graph.

Microsoft Graph, which is your data, and also any customized data you want to tie to, that's where it will get its responses from. When you ask Microsoft Excel, and it has a Copilot, and you ask your personal assistant, "Hey, what was last year's sales number for the company?" How does it know that? It's private information. ChatGPT won't have the answer. It's not going to go there to find the answer. No, it goes to your data.

That's where we have the difference, right? ChatGPT, full of knowledge, conversational, chatbot, just about every answer it's going to get you, okay? It will have answers up until, as of the recording of this podcast, January 2023, whereas Copilot, AI, personal assistant, if you would, right, or companion, lives inside of the Microsoft ecosystem, and it is grounded, meaning that its knowledge is grounded on your data, your Microsoft Graph, your data containers that you tie to.

They function in a similar way, meaning that you prompt something, and you're going to get a response. It's just how they do that will differ because Copilot will do that within the Microsoft applications. You don't have to go to somewhere else to get the answer. Two, the Microsoft Copilot will be grounded on your data, which is what you want. It's how it makes you productive because you get answers. You can get answers on your stuff.

Now, with ChatGPT, you're going to get varied responses based on the package. Understand that, right? It's going to be, like I said, the free version has certain features that you simply don't get, and you will get that with the paid version. That's one thing. That may vary. Copilot, however, is designed to basically enhance productivity within the Microsoft ecosystem. You're going to get more of a tailored assistance in the applications. The experience is just going to be different, all right?

In summary, like I said, I just wanted to make the differentiation between the two. They don't necessarily compete with each other because Copilot leverages the other. They just have different applications, okay? In summary, ChatGPT is more of a generalized tool, and it's suitable for various content creation, task, research, customer service applications, all that stuff. We love it. We use it all the time. Microsoft Copilot, however, for uses on improving efficiency and productivity within the Microsoft ecosystem, that's really the focus, right? That's the differentiator between the two.

When you hear us mention, "Hey, Microsoft Copilot," "Hey, ChatGPT,” we're not talking about the same thing because they are not. Sometimes people want to use it interchangeably because they know in the back of their head that in order to get the responses that Copilot produces, it does tie into the ChatGPT platform. They're not the same. We're hoping that this one episode clearly defines them for you. Now when you look at these technologies, you're thinking about them in the proper context.

That does bring this podcast to an end. I promised it'd be a short one, so I'm trying to make it short but I want to give you the information that you might be looking for. With that said, this is a really good time to go ahead and subscribe. Subscribe to Tech UNMUTED on your favorite podcast platform. That includes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube if you want to have more of a visual.

Please subscribe because this way, one, it helps us because we get subscriptions but you become aware and alerted of all the new episodes that we will be releasing. We will have plenty of content coming around this AI revolution that we're experiencing because it's only beginning. We have a long way to go. Until next time, folks, stay curious and stay connected.

CLOSING VOICEOVER: Visit www.fusionconnect.com/techunmuted for show notes and more episodes. Thanks for listening.

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Produced by Fusion Connect

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Tech UNMUTED, the podcast of modern collaboration, where we tell the stories of how collaboration tools enable businesses to be more efficient and connected. Humans have collaborated since the beginning of time – we’re wired to work together to solve complex problems, brainstorm novel solutions and build a connected community. On Tech UNMUTED, we’ll cover the latest industry trends and dive into real-world examples of how technology is inspiring businesses and communities to be more efficient and connected. Tune in to learn how today's table-stakes technologies are fostering a collaborative culture, serving as the anchor for exceptional customer service.

Get show notes, transcripts, and other details at www.fusionconnect.com/techUNMUTED. Tech UNMUTED is a production of Fusion Connect, LLC.