The Flip Side of Copilot: What You Need to Know - Corporate Project Solutions

The Flip Side of Copilot: What You Need to Know

Date Published 27/10/2023
Author Holly Rae
Category Technology
So, you're excited about Microsoft 365 Copilot, and why wouldn't you be? It promises to be your digital wingman, making your work life a breeze. But hold on a minute—every rose has its thorns, right? Let's talk about some of the caveats and considerations you should keep in mind.

The Flip Side of Copilot: What You Need to Know


So, you're excited about Microsoft 365 Copilot, and why wouldn't you be? It promises to be your digital wingman, making your work life a breeze. But hold on a minute—every rose has its thorns, right? Let's talk about some of the caveats and considerations you should keep in mind. 

The Trust Factor 

First up, let's talk about trust. It's one thing to let an AI assistant schedule your meetings or remind you of deadlines. Still, it's another ball game when that AI starts drafting emails or representing you in virtual spaces. So, how well does Copilot really know you? And perhaps more importantly, how well do you know it? 

Imagine you're in a rush and let Copilot draft an email to a key client. But what if the tone isn't quite right, or it misses a nuance you would have caught? Trust goes both ways—you need to understand the AI's limitations, and it needs to learn your preferences and style.  

Companies also have a role to play here. They must ensure that AI Copilots are programmed to align with their values and operating styles. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where your AI assistant sends out messages that don't quite sound like 'you' or, even worse, misrepresent the company's ethos. 

Building this trust isn't an overnight process. It involves ongoing training, both for the AI and the human users. Regular updates and feedback loops can help fine-tune the system to better align with individual and organisational needs. So, before you let Copilot take the wheel, ensure you're both on the same page. 

The Data Dilemma 

Ah, data—the lifeblood of any AI system. But who's keeping tabs? When working with an AI like Copilot, you're feeding it a constant stream of data. Your emails, documents, meeting notes—all become learning material for the AI. Sounds convenient, right? But let's consider the flip side. 

Firstly, there's the issue of data privacy. Who has access to the data that Copilot is processing? Is it stored securely, and does it comply with regulations like GDPR? These questions shouldn't be taken lightly, especially in an era where data breaches are all too common. 

Then there's the issue of bias. AI systems learn from the data they're given, and if that data is skewed or biased in some way, the AI's actions will reflect that. Imagine Copilot drafting an email based on outdated or insensitive language patterns—a PR disaster waiting to happen. 

And let's not forget about ethical considerations and potential copyright infringements. If CoPilot is summarising articles or reports, where is that content coming from? Is it being used fairly and legally? 

Businesses must establish a centralised AI governance function to navigate this complex landscape. This involves setting up guidelines and monitoring systems to ensure the AI's actions are ethical, legal, and aligned with the company's values. So, before jumping headlong into AI assistance, it's worth taking a step back to consider how your organisation handles these critical issues. 

The Human Element 

Now, let's shift our focus to something we often take for granted—the human element. Sure, AI like Copilot can do a lot, but it's not about to replace the unique qualities that make us human. Creativity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to think outside the box are just a few things that AI can't replicate. But what happens when we start relying too much on our digital Copilots? 

Picture this: You're in a team meeting, and half the room is engrossed in their devices, letting Copilot take notes or even respond to queries in real time. It's efficient, no doubt, but what does it do to team dynamics? The risk here is creating a divide between those who are 'AI-augmented' and those who aren't. And that's a slippery slope, especially regarding team cohesion and workplace culture. 

Moreover, there's the question of skill erosion. If Copilot is doing all the heavy lifting—drafting emails, creating reports, analysing data—what happens to our own abilities to perform these tasks? It's essential to strike a balance and ensure we use AI to enhance our skills, not replace them. 

The key is to foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable and capable of working alongside these digital Copilots. Training programs, workshops, and open discussions can help ease the transition and ensure that the human workforce remains integral to the equation. After all, the real magic happens when human intelligence collaborates with artificial intelligence, not when one replaces the other. 

The 'Why' Question 

Finally, let's get to the heart of the matter—the 'why.' It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of new technology, especially one as promising as CoPpilot. But have you stopped to ask yourself why you're considering it in the first place? 

Think about it: Are you looking to adopt AI simply because it's the latest trend, or does it genuinely solve a problem for you or your organisation? It's a crucial question because the most effective use of technology is always purpose driven. 

For instance, if you're in a role that requires a lot of repetitive data entry, then Copilot could be a game-changer. However, relying too heavily on an AI could be detrimental if you're in a creative position where nuanced understanding and emotional intelligence are critical. 

Leaders, too, need to be clear about their 'why'. Is the goal to improve efficiency and cut costs? Or is it to foster innovation and improve customer experiences? The answers to these questions will guide the implementation and ongoing management of AI technologies like Copilot. 

So, before you click that 'subscribe' button or approve that department-wide rollout, take a moment to consider your motivations. Are you looking for a quick fix or committed to a long-term strategy that integrates AI meaningfully? Your 'why' will ultimately determine your 'how.' 

Ready for the Reality Check? 

Intrigued but cautious? That's a good place to be. CPS offers a Copilot Readiness Assessment that gauges your preparedness and helps you navigate these complexities. So, why not take that assessment and make an informed decision? 

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Holly Rae
Holly Rae
M365 Technical Architect

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