Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available to enterprises Nov. 1 in a move that will test the limits of the add-on approach to cloud services and create a new condition: Copilot fatigue.
At an event allegedly focused on Microsoft Surface hardware, the software and cloud giant outlined plans to roll out Copilot to Windows 11 with more than 150 new features. Microsoft is also adding OpenAI's latest DALL.E model to Bing and updating Bing Chat Enterprise.
But the real experiment begins Nov. 1. Enterprises will have to start game planning for Microsoft's $30 per user per month add-on for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers. Do you simply add all of your employees? Pick a few core functions? Wait and see? Another possibility: Enterprises will have to start budgeting for Microsoft's Co-pilot add-ons as well as other monetization models from core vendors including ServiceNow, Salesforce, Adobe and Google.
Add it up and you can easily see how generative AI add-ons are going to be like your streaming subscriptions. You ditched cable for streaming only to find that all you created was a DIY cable subscription. Enterprises ditched software licensing for the cloud only to find more per seat charges as a subscription that you may or may not use. The real scary thought: Generative AI (Copilot) may just give Clippy more brainpower and scale.
Microsoft's Copilot fiesta in Windows is one area where this new use cases have gone too far. Do I really want copilots in Paint and Notepad? Those two programs are popular because they're kind of dumb. If I wanted smart, I'd use Photoshop and Word. Sometimes you just don't want or need the overkill. I feel the same way about appliances in that I prefer dumb and dependable. Your operating system should be the same way.
Multiply Microsoft's Copilot plans with similar efforts by Google (Duet AI everywhere) and other helpful models giving you insights and recommendations at every turn and I'm already fatigued.
Next step: HR sessions talking about copilot fatigue. In a few years, we'll have therapy sessions about copilots not allowing us to think, being annoying and simply helping us too much. You can almost hear the rank-and-file workers telling HR reps that their copilots hallucinate, lie, are too demanding and won't shut up. Even worse: That copilot in FP&A almost got someone fired.
Copilot fatigue will happen. You heard it here first.