Microsoft's big copilot upgrade

+ AI knows nothing about voting

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Welcome to Saturday, friends!

Copilot just got an upgrade for spreadsheets and email.

And did you know AI is useless at voting advice?

ALSO, can you tell if our pic is AI or real?

Read time: 5 minutes


Microsoft is launching a new upgrade to Copilot, a chatbot designed specifically for Outlook and Excel, that will help finance professionals work more efficiently.

Microsoft wants to make work easier for all departments with specific Copilots.

This new tool will help with tasks like checking differences in data, organising Excel files, and managing emails in Outlook.

Finance bros get their own bot

It'll use data from SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365, with more updates planned for later this year.

Dentsu, a big advertising firm in Japan, plans to use it for finance work.

Microsoft's finance team helped develop it and found it saves a lot of time on usual tasks, turning hours of work into minutes.

This lets employees focus on more important tasks and could help close financial reports faster.

Microsoft says using the new Copilot is optional for their finance team, offering a way to make work more efficient without forcing a change in how things are done.

Our View:

Less work, more time for coffee?

What's the first thing you'd ask your AI finance assistant to do?

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Vote for live results and see results + opinions from yesterday at the bottom of the email.


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AI Image or Real?

Every Saturday we get you to vote on an image and guess whether it’s a real photo or an AI-generated image.

A retro car driving in the fog. But is it real?

You decide! Vote below.

The answer and results are revealed in tomorrow’s Mindstream!

Real image or AI?

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Recent research reveals that popular AI chatbots often get it wrong when asked simple questions about voting, like where to vote or how to register.

This finding comes from a study by the AI Democracy Projects, combining efforts from journalists and researchers.

They tested five leading chatbots and found that these AIs were incorrect about 50% of the time on basic voting questions.

This is worrying because it shows that chatbots can spread misinformation, potentially confusing voters.

Bots can’t even give us fashion advice

For example, the chatbots didn't know the rules about what you can wear to vote in some states, and they often gave wrong locations for polling stations or incorrect voting registration info.

One bot even claimed you could vote by text in California - imagine!

Experts are concerned because these mistakes could mislead voters, making election information seem too complicated and frustrating.

The study checked various chatbots and found that some were more reliable than others, but all had issues with accuracy to some extent.

The researchers categorized the wrong answers into four types: completely inaccurate, potentially harmful, missing important details, or biased.

They also noted that AI companies are trying to improve their chatbots, but there's still a long way to go.

The takeaway is to be careful about trusting chatbots for critical information like voting, highlighting the challenge of making sure AI gives us the right answers, especially when it comes to important stuff like elections.

Our View:

Someone give these bots a crash course on democracy!

Mindstream Picks

BlackRock teams up with Brazil's B3 stock exchange to debut iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF's Brazilian Depositary Receipts, offering access to retail investors.

University of Waterloo pledges to remove Invenda vending machines equipped with facial recognition technology "as soon as possible" and has requested the software to be disabled immediately.

Spotify introduces Song Psychic, enabling users to ask questions and receive music-based answers.

Elon Musk's X faces setbacks in its lawsuit against hate speech researchers, with a federal judge expressing scepticism on the validity of many of the allegations.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a PlayStation 5 exclusive, expands the middle section of the 27-year-old RPG into a sprawling open-world adventure with diverse minigames, offering a lavish yet expansive experience.

AI Art

Artwork submitted by Mindstream reader Bryan Bu: “An audience wearing sunglasses, watching a supernova”

Get art inspiration by trying this prompt in your image generator of choice.

Zombies serving people coffee at a coffee shop

Happy with the result, or have some other artwork you’re proud of?
You can send in your artwork and we will feature it, with credit to you.

We get a lot of submissions, but we do look at every single one! So please don’t hesitate to send us your art.

Yesterday’s Poll

 Should coding skills be a prerequisite for tech jobs, or will AI tools make them less necessary?”

Definitely coding should stay a pre-req. 55%

AI can handle the coding. 45%

Reader’s Opinions

“No AI advancement will be made without smart tech people an the codebase AI will learn from.”-nenad.prek

“AI can handle the coding and it will” - dandreagroup

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