Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an overarching concept and a field of computer science revolving around creating “intelligent” computers which mimic human intelligence.

Microsoft Copilot is an AI tool we have available at Tufts to assist with administrative tasks in your day-to-day work, such as creating outlines for presentations, brainstorming, and summarizing meeting notes. Copilot can understand what you type and reply to you.

Copilotis an interactive chat that you responds to your written questions

Note: Before using Copilot or any generative AI, see the Tufts Guidelines for use of Generative AI Tools.

Generative AI is a type of AI which can do pattern recognition within very large sets of text, images, and other types of data. This allows it to understand text and images, quickly do analysis and interpretation on them, and generate, or create, new text and images.

There are many popular generative AI programs available, including Microsoft’s Copilot, Google’s Gemini, OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4, and Anthropic’s Claude. These are all different types of generative AI, but you can interact with them all in similar ways: you type in text prompts or upload images or files, and the AI generates text, code, or images in response.

Microsoft Copilot is Tufts’ recommended generative AI for work purposes. Tufts has vetted Copilot for security and privacy and has an enterprise license, so Copilot is available free of charge to all Tufts users.

Copilotis an interactive chat that you responds to your written questions

  1. Visit http://copilot.microsoft.com
  2. Sign in with your Tufts credentials. 
    Use your Tuft credentials on the microsoft login screen
  3. Look for your username or profile photo in the top right or the Tufts logo in the top left to be sure you are using the Tufts’ instance of Copilot.
    Your username will be in the top right before the Protected text
  4. If you have the option at the top, switch the tab to Work.
    The work toggle is in the top center of the screen
  5. If you don’t have the Work option, you will instead select from three conversation styles which Microsoft has designed for Copilot. Choose Precise for most work-related tasks. The options are:
    • More Creative for an original and imaginative chat
    • More Balanced for an informative and friendly chat
    • More Precise for a concise and straightforward chat

    Precise is the third option
  6. You’re ready to interact with Microsoft Copilot. When you give Copilot instructions or ask it questions, what you type is known as a prompt. In the text editing space at the bottom, type your prompt.
  7. Click the Send arrow in the bottom right. Copilot will understand your prompt and reply.

You can also select a suggested prompt Copilot offers

At Tufts, there are many ways you can use Microsoft Copilot to assist in your day-to-day work.

Tip: Copilot is not always accurate! It’s recommended that you use it mainly with low-stakes tasks and that you carefully check any content it creates or edits for accuracy and to be sure it’s conveying your intended message. 

Here are some specific examples of using Copilot to assist with work tasks:

  • Information processing and generation:
    • Outline a presentation on a given topic.
    • Generate a graph from a set of data in a spreadsheet.
    • Come up with a list of possible ideas for a group activity at a conference.
  • Helping with communication:
    • Ensure proper grammar in an email or white paper.
    • Help with creating a follow-up email from meeting minutes.

Here’s an example: 
Asking copilot for a presentation outline on Tufts history
 
Copilot remembers the conversation history. You’ll get better results if you chat back and forth with Copilot and ask for changes and refinements in the answers it generates.

Here’s an example:
Asking Copilot to shorten its answer to key history events

 

Remember: You are responsible for any content that you produce or publish which includes AI-generated material.
 
Generative AI can be useful for brainstorming, and for assisting with writing, summarizing, and other tasks, but you should never just copy and paste an answer generated by Microsoft Copilot. 

Don't use generative AI as a replacement for your own learning and understanding! Always read, check, and verify the information that AI generates.

  • AI can be wrong and can generate fake information. 
  • AI can infringe copyright, subjecting you to lawsuits and damages. 
  • AI can impact digital privacy. 
  • AI can be biased and contribute to unfair outcomes, discrimination, or unequal treatment.