In a recent announcement, Microsoft announced the release of a new category of Windows PCs called Copilot+ PCs. The latest generation of Microsoft Surface devices will fit into this category, but Copilot+ PCs will also be produced and sold by Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.

What is a Copilot+ PC?

The key difference with a Copilot+ PC’s intelligence is its neural processing unit (NPU). This is a specialized chip, designed specifically for AI tasks and is extremely powerful. This processing power allows Copilot+ PCs to handle complex AI applications in real time which traditional computer processors struggle to do.

They are designed with a further development of the way we use AI in mind – something known as a small language model (or SLM).

What is a ‘small language model’?

Current AI tools such as Microsoft 365 Copilot rely on large language models (LLMs) such as GPT by OpenAI.  These are AI programs that rely on hugely powerful datacentres to operate. As such, for an application on your computer to access them, it must send data via the internet off to the cloud to be processed by the large language model and the response is then sent back via the internet to your computer.  Not only does this mean getting the response can take some time, limiting what you can do, it means you must always work online and there can be data privacy concerns.

A small language model is a much smaller AI program which runs on your computer and can therefore process AI requests and responses much quicker.  This opens up a greater variety of applications and reduces concerns with data privacy.

What can a Copilot+ PC do?

Currently Copilot+ PCs offer the most to professionals working in the creative industries or jobs and particularly those using tools such as the Adobe applications suite which offer AI powered image, sound and video manipulation.

However Copilot+ PCs do come with some additional Windows features built in that anyone is able to use:

  • Recall: This keeps a record of everything you have done on your computer helps you find any activity or information you have encountered whilst using it almost instantly. Simply type in a keyword and Recall will search your documents, emails, and even online browsing history to surface relevant information.
  • Live Captions: This feature generates captions for any audio or video playing on your PC, making multimedia content more accessible.  It can also translate voices into a language of your choice. So you could have a Teams call with 3 other people speaking different languages and Live Captions would translate them all into your chosen language in real time.
  • Enhanced Windows Studio Effects: Take your video conferencing to the next level with features like automatic background removal, noise suppression, and even real-time language translation.  This can be done without slowing down you computer and keeps your Teams calls smooth and professional.
  • Automatic Super Resolution: Breathe new life into old photos and videos. Automatic Super Resolution uses AI to upscale low-resolution images and videos, preserving detail and clarity, making them look like a high resolution pin sharp modern photo.

Many more applications for Copilot+ PCs will be coming out over coming months with details on the Microsoft Blog page.

Copilot+ PCs are available to buy through Pro Drive now. Get in touch with your Account Manger if you wish to start using this exciting new technology.