Microsoft is adding a new AI-powered Copilot key to its physical keyboards as it continues its recent chatbot push.
The tech giant said this first significant change to its consoles for 30 years was a “transformative” moment.
Microsoft has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years – the company has been a significant backer of OpenAI, the research organisation that launched ChatGPT to critical and commercial success in late 2022.
OpenAI will be the brains behind Microsoft’s new Copilot features.
When users press the key, they will be able to access a range of AI-powered functions.
Microsoft says Copilot will help users find emails, write new messages, find information, and create images.
It can even complete more advanced tasks like summarising lengthy articles and comparing prices for products and services.
According to Microsoft’s executive vice president, Yusuf Medhi, the features will “simplify” and “amplify” the experience of using Windows.
The addition of Copilot is the first major change to Microsoft’s keyboards since the company added the Windows key.
All new devices, including the company’s Surface laptops, will have a Copilot key starting in February 2024.
Users can already use a Windows key + C shortcut to access Copilot, but a physical button will make the process even easier.
Professor John Tucker, who works at the University of Swansea, says the new key highlights “the value the company is placing on this particular feature”.
Several major tech companies have been investing in AI features during the last 12 months.
Google recently launched its own AI system, Bard, which has been integrated into Google Search.
Microsoft has also added ChatGPT functionality to its browser, Edge, and the Bing search engine.