Copilot 365 Pilot Program Launched to Evaluate Future Licensing Decisions

In May, Technology Services, the IT service arm of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, in coordination with the Generative AI Solutions Hub, launched the Microsoft Copilot 365 Pilot Program to learn more about potential use-cases and determine its value for the University. 

The program consists of over 500 faculty and staff volunteers serving in diverse job types and roles from departments across the University leveraging Copilot 365 for their work between May and December 2024. Participants are expected to participate in monthly feedback surveys for the duration of the program. 

What is Copilot 365? 

Copilot 365 is Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant that integrates into a user’s Microsoft online ecosystem including meeting notes, emails, files, etc. that are stored online in the Microsoft Office Suite. With Copilot 365, a user does not need to input files or data in a full statement prompt as they do with Microsoft Copilot with Data Protection. Instead, a user asks questions or prompts, then Copilot 365 reads that user’s stored data within Microsoft online tools and outputs a response based off the prompt. For example, Copilot 365 can summarize meeting notes, answer questions surrounding stored data, and more.  

Copilot 365 honors pre-existing permissions and does not give users access to files they don’t have access to already. Copilot 365 also doesn’t have access to files stored outside of OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and Office, such as files stored on a local hard drive. Within the Microsoft online ecosystem, access to data in files is limited to the people with whom files have been shared through links or Teams channel permissions.  

How is Copilot 365 different from Copilot with Data Protection?

While Copilot 365 is an AI-integrated assistant that reads data within Microsoft online tools, Copilot with Data Protection is an AI chatbot that you input data into. It cannot read any data that you do not first input into the chatbot conversation. Currently, faculty and staff with an A5 University license have free access to this tool.