Microsoft has announced improvements to Copilot in what's the latest step forward for the AI (no doubt the first of many this year).
In a blog post, the software giant told us that it has made Copilot more streamlined, with a cleaner and slicker look, as well as introducing a carousel of suggested prompts to stoke your curiosity (perhaps) to explore those topics.
What this means is that the interface for Copilot does indeed look tidier and neater, with that carousel occupying center stage in the middle of the page.
The carousel can be scrolled left or right and features striking images atop a miscellany of queries such as 'I'm looking for handmade furniture' or 'Write a funny limerick about me' (nobody from Nantucket is allowed to try that one).
Overall, the makeover makes Copilot look more interesting and engaging, and the carousel gives the same sort of vibe as the 'I'm feeling lucky' randomness of the Google search page.
The other big change is the introduction of Designer in Copilot. Once you've created an image using Copilot, there's now an option to further edit it with this functionality, for example adding some blur to the background, throwing on filters, adjusting brightness, and so forth.
On top of that, Designer in Copilot has a panel on the right for ideas to make changes to an image, that you can click on to realize there and then. Broadly speaking, this is a whole new level of creative abilities integrated directly within the Copilot image generation experience.
You could, of course, always take your Copilot-generated image elsewhere to edit it in a different app, but it's handy to do it in-line - and the extra ideas are a smart addition, certainly from what we experienced.
As will come as no surprise to anybody, Microsoft is making it so paying users get some extra bits and pieces for their money. To that end, Copilot Pro subscribers are furnished with additional capabilities in the Designer feature, including the ability to resize images between square and landscape format directly within chat.
Microsoft also observes that it's planning to roll out a new Designer GPT feature which will consist of an "immersive, dedicated canvas inside of Copilot where you can visualize your ideas." We don't know for sure what Microsoft is driving at yet, but this extra spin on the image creation front is rolling out soon, we're told, so we shouldn't have long to wait to find out.
The other big development in the world of AI assistants right now is Google launching its new rival Gemini - well, this is the renamed Bard, although there's also a paid version, Gemini Advanced, which will compete with Copilot Pro (throwing extras like 2TB of cloud storage into the bargain).