An AI Phone App? Microsoft’s Copilot Hits iOS, Android

With a new year brings a new chapter in the exciting growth of artificial intelligence. AI had a major breakout year in 2023 as OpenAI’s ChatGPT exploded into the public eye in the Spring. Since then, firms across the economy have looked to AI as a source of economic growth and disruption. As the key competitors in AI development push forward, Microsoft (MSFT) has laid down another marker of its status, with its AI phone app Copilot launching on both iOS and Android recently.

Copilot, formerly known as Bing Chat, initially launched earlier in 2023 as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. As a chatbot not too dissimilar to ChatGPT, Copilot leans on large language models (LLMs) to help users with clerical work. The AI phone app’s arrival to phones and other iOS and Android devices comes just after its first update since launch in November, which saw it become more personalized.

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Microsoft Copilot is a natural extension and step from Microsoft to spread beyond the Bing and Cortana days, which both ultimately never blossomed to the extent that one would have imagined,” said VettaFi senior research analyst Zeno Mercer.

“They are developing both for enterprise and consumer – a smart blend which our research suggests is going to the status quo going forward as the best of both worlds come together to maximize for individual’s preferences and needs,” he added.

The Role of an AI Phone App in AI’s Future

While Copilot is not the first phone app looking to leverage a large language model AI chatbot, MSFT’s arrival into the space marks another step forward in innovation in the space. The AI phone app had already been downloaded more than 1.5 million times as of January 3rd.

The expansion of AI technology to phone apps more broadly has the potential to boost the overall app economy. The global app market reached more than $420 billion worldwide as of 2022 per Statista even before ChatGPT hit the scene in force. Investors can access firms like MSFT as part of a broader AI investing lens in ETFs like the iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW).

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