AI Assistant - Copilot

The AI assistant Copilot is Microsoft’s version of ChatGPT. As a staff member at Linnaeus University, you have access to an Enterprise version of Copilot which has better information security than the consumer version. At present, only staff have access to the AI assistant, it is not included in the student licenses as it looks right now.

Copilot essentially uses the same generative language model as ChatGPT 4 and has corresponding features:

  • Copilot is connected to the internet and can provide references to web pages and perform tasks based on the content of web pages, etc. The limitations to old training data, as in the free version of ChatGPT, are therefore not present here.
  • It is possible to generate images, in the background it is then OpenAI’s generative image service Dall-E.
  • It is also possible to upload images and let the service describe, answer questions or perform tasks based on the content of the image.

Another major and important difference from ChatGPT and other language models is that Copilot is adapted for companies and educational institutions. When we log in with our Lnu accounts, we get a green shield and the text “Your personal data and company data are protected in this chat” above the text box. Which in practice means the following:

  • Chat history is not saved, it is removed after a session ends or expires.
  • The data is sent encrypted to Microsoft’s servers.
  • Entered data is removed after it has been cached during the chat session.
  • Entered data is not used to train the language model.
  • Plugins cannot be used, to avoid data leakage to third parties.
  • The mobile app does not work, but the service can also be opened in the browser on the mobile.
  • The service cannot be connected to an API.

Read more about information security here: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/copilot/privacy-and-protections

So, some functionality has been sacrificed in favor of data and information security.

Here are some examples of how the service can be used:

  • To access and search for information about or in articles, resources, and thereby save time in information gathering.
  • Help with conducting literature reviews by summarizing, analyzing, and providing insights into research reports and articles. It can help you as a user to identify key concepts, trends, and gaps in existing texts.
  • Brainstorm ideas for projects, proposals, and experiments.
  • Assist with the production of texts, including drafts of articles, reports, application documents, and lecture notes. It can suggest grammar and translate into many different languages.
  • Can be used to create personal texts and quizzes for students. It can generate practice questions, explanations and educational content tailored to individual needs.
  • Explain or summarize a text in other words.

NOTE! Copilot is the name of several of Microsoft’s AI-driven services, this web-based AI assistant like ChatGPT should not be confused with Copilot which is built into Windows 11 and Office programs.

Important to be aware of

We know from before that there can be a bias that can become really unfortunate, as the answers are based on training data that reflects the content on the internet and our society with all that it entails. We also know that language models can “hallucinate” or “lie”, two words that actually describe human phenomena and maybe should not really be mixed into AI contexts where a language model tries to put together a word sequence that seems reasonable in a certain context. But it can go wrong under certain circumstances and it is therefore important to be aware of this and always check the material that has been generated.

Think about what data you enter

Please note that it is not allowed to share personal data, sensitive or confidential material in this type of cloud services.

Get started with Copilot

  1. Go to copilot.microsoft.com (recommended browsers are Microsoft Edge and Chrome)
  2. Click on “Log in” and log in with your Lnu account. Remember to use username@lnu.se instead of your usual e-mail address.
  3. If everything works, Linnaeus University’s logo should be up to the left and above the chat box it should say in green text “Your personal data and company data are protected in this chat”. There should also be a green box with the text “Protected” up to the right. (If these things do not appear on the page, reload the page first and clear the cache in the browser second.) When the green text appears, it is free to start using the AI assistant.

Support

If you have problems logging into the service, contact IT support.

If you have questions about using the AI assistant, contact your local ICT educator.

Here you find Lnu's "Guidance and recommendations for teachers on generative AI"