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ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot: A Comparison of Generative AI Tools

ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot: A Comparison of Generative AI Tools

Generative AI is a rapidly advancing technology focused on creating content such as text, images, audio, and code. These tools can help users with various tasks, such as writing emails, articles, presentations, and more. In this post, we will compare two popular generative AI tools: ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI. Microsoft was an early investor in OpenAI and remains a close partner. It’s designed for engaging conversations, insights, and task automation. It can handle multiple topics and switch between them seamlessly. When accessing ChatGPT users can leverage GPT-3.5 or GPT-4 depending on their subscription tier, and it can be used for various purposes, such as entertainment, education, customer service, and research. ChatGPT is trained on a large swath of publicly available data which includes texts from various websites across topics.

What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot can be used within everyday apps like Microsoft Teams, Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint. Using natural-language conversational prompts and leveraging GPT-4, it can help users prepare for meetings, summarize decisions made, draft responses to emails, write articles, create charts and tables, and design images.

In addition to publicly available data on the web, Copilot also has access to a user’s organization’s data stored within the Microsoft ecosystem. This enables it to provide more relevant and personalized suggestions, referencing related content and official templates. A previous post discusses how to prepare for Copilot and keep your data safe from over-exposure.

How to use Generative AI tools effectively

  • Always review and edit the results generated. Use them as tools to enhance or supplement your own skills, knowledge, and ideas. Do not rely on them as the sole or final source of information or content. Check for grammar, accuracy, relevance, and quality.
  • Be precise in your prompts. For example, when using Copilot in a Teams meeting ask what decisions were made instead of asking solely for a recap. If you want to summarize text for a social media post, ask for a special length or tone.
  • Do not use these tools for sensitive or confidential information, such as personal data, financial data, medical data, or legal data. Do not share or disclose any information that you do not want to be public or accessible by others.


How do Copilot and ChatGPT train their models?

Copilot and ChatGPT use different methods and sources to train their models.

Copilot uses a combination of supervised and unsupervised learning, which means it learns from both labeled and unlabeled data. Labeled data has been tagged with information that helps an AI model understand it, whereas unlabeled data has not been tagged. Copilot’s data comes from public sources, such as news outlets, Wikipedia, GitHub, and other websites. Copilot also uses reinforcement learning (RL), which means it learns from its own feedback and rewards, like a person learning through trial-and-error. Copilot’s feedback comes from users’ ratings, comments, and actions, such as accepting or rejecting its suggestions. Rewards come from performance metrics, such as accuracy, relevance, and speed. Microsoft has been very clear that they have no “eyes-on access to user or chat data, and that data is not used to train the underlying model.” As part of their Copilot Copyright Commitment is “offering to defend customers from IP infringement claims arising from the customer’s use and distribution of the output content generated by Microsoft’s Copilot services.”

ChatGPT uses unsupervised learning, which means it learns from unlabeled data. This data comes from a large corpus (the material that the AI reviews to learn) of data available on the web, which includes texts from various domains and genres, such as news, books, blogs, social media, and more. ChatGPT does not use reinforcement learning, which means it does not learn from its own feedback or rewards. ChatGPT’s output is based on its probability distribution, which means it generates the most likely response given its input and context, similar to auto complete or suggested text.

Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT are more similar than they are different, but Copilot offers the seamless Microsoft 365 integration as part of its suite of features to surpass ChatGPT. Copilot being embedded in Microsoft 365 enables personalized responses and empowers users to leverage generative AI in the stream of work.

Picture of Matt Jacobson - Product Operations Manager

Matt Jacobson - Product Operations Manager

Matt Jacobson is an accomplished project manager adept at navigating the Microsoft Cloud landscape. Driven by challenges and committed to excellence, he thrives on overcoming challenges, solving problems, and delivering innovative solutions.

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