copilot logo on abstract textured background
Friday, January 12, 2024 - 10:51am

Are you looking for a way to boost your productivity and efficiency? Do you want to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance your work and research? If so, you might be interested in Copilot, the preferred generative AI tool for University of Iowa employees. Starting in April, students have access to Copilot too.

What is Copilot? 

Copilot (previously branded Bing Chat Enterprise) is a web-based chat interface that can help you with various tasks, such as writing, coding, data analysis, summarizing documents, creating images, and more. Copilot uses large language models such as GPT-4 and DALL-E 3, to generate high-quality content and suggestions based on your input and context. You can chat with Copilot about anything, such as asking questions, requesting content, getting feedback, or having fun. Copilot provides data and user protection, which means that your chat data is not saved, Microsoft has no eyes-on access to it, and your prompts and chat data aren’t used to train the underlying models.  

Why use Copilot? 

Some of the many benefits of using Copilot include: 

  • Saving time: Copilot can help you automate tedious and repetitive tasks, such as formatting, proofreading, summarizing, or citing sources. It can also help you find relevant information, such as facts, statistics, definitions, or examples. 
  • Improving quality: Copilot can help you enhance the quality of your content, such as writing, coding, data analysis, or communication. It can provide suggestions, feedback, corrections, or improvements based on your input and context. Copilot can also help you avoid errors, plagiarism, or bias in your content. 
  • Data protection: Using Copilot with your UI credentials provides user and data protection. Your chat prompts and responses in Copilot aren’t saved. 
  • Available at no additional cost: Copilot is included in UI’s Microsoft license. It isn’t currently available to students. Copilot provides the benefits of a paid ChatGPT Plus subscription combined with data protection not available to individual users.   
  • Unleashing creativity: Copilot can help you generate original and innovative content, such as poems, stories, code, essays, songs, celebrity parodies, and more. It can also help you explore new ideas, perspectives, or possibilities based on your input and context. 

How to get started: 

UI employees and students can visit and log in using a HawkID and password (use “Sign in with a work or school account” and do not use the free, personal version). When signed in, look for a message confirming “Your personal and company data are protected in this chat” above the chat input box to ensure you are using Copilot with data protection.  

Copilot interface after login showing green "protected" icon and IOWA branding

Some tips:  

  • Be critical. Make sure to fact-check the output as AI can make mistakes! 
  • If you aren’t satisfied with the answer you receive, try out “Creative” mode.  
  • Don’t confuse Microsoft Copilot with Copilot for Microsoft 365, which integrates with Microsoft 365 applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, etc.). This is a premium feature that is not available for University of Iowa users. 

Additional resources: