Superannuation fund Rest is set to join a Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program (EAP), making it among the first Australian organisations to be able to integrate generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technologies across the Microsoft 365 suite.
Rest said it was selected from tens of thousands of organisations globally to take part in the EAP, enabling it to gain early access to the GenAI capability.
Through the EAP, Rest will gain early access to Microsoft 365 Copilot, which pairs a natural language-based personalised digital assistant with apps in the Microsoft 365 suite, including the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams apps.
Rest said the capability would enable it to “unlock employee productivity, innovation, and creativity”.
The tool, introduced in late 2021, is powered by OpenAI’s GPT language model – the same technology behind ChatGPT (of which Microsoft is also a major investor).
Microsoft said the technology combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with enterprise data captured in Microsoft Graph (including the desktop calendar, emails, chats, documents, and meetings, among others) to deliver new content.
For instance, the technology can be used in Word to summarise or rewrite particular sections of text or build-out, for instance, a project proposal based on another document and an Excel spreadsheet.
Within Excel itself, Copilot can be used to reveal correlations in data, propose what-if scenarios, and suggest new formulas based on a particular question, or in PowerPoint to automatically build a slide deck from notes in a Word document.
The EAP has so far been rolled out to 600 organisations globally, with Copilot tested with 20 companies including Chevron, Goodyear, General Motors, and Dow since earlier this year.
Rest’s chief technology and data officer Jeremy Hubbard said the collaboration with Microsoft aligns with the super fund’s “technology-powered and people-centred transformation strategy” focused on enhancing employee experiences and productivity.
“AI has enormous potential to influence the future direction of the superannuation sector and Australian workplaces,” he said.
“[Empowering] our people with cutting edge tools like Microsoft 365 Copilot is key to fostering and attracting exceptional talent, pursuing our vision of technological transformation and setting our people, partners and members up for success in a future where AI will play an increasingly important role.”
He added that the fund will work to “[ensure] secure and responsible usage and [explore] how Rest can leverage our capability to help members and partners address and navigate the technology as it progresses”.
Microsoft said the Copilot integration would meet the its “comprehensive approach to security, compliance, and privacy”.
“It protects member, group and individual data and automatically supports Rest’s robust security, compliance, and privacy policies and processes.”