Microsoft Build 2023

Last month Microsoft held its annual developers’ conference: Microsoft Build 2023. Over three days Microsoft covered everything from new tools and new features to workshops and even some metaphysical questions. It was useful if you are a programmer, but also for finding out what Microsoft is encouraging its developers to make.

AI . . . AI Everywhere

Not surprisingly Build 2023 was all about AI and how Microsoft is making good on its investment into OpenAI. Bing is the new default search engine in ChatGPT and will be used to keep it as current as possible. Development tools have been enhanced to more easily create AI models as well as use AI models to make coding itself easier.

Developers can employ Microsoft tools to add custom data sets for domain-specific AI bots. You can generate a legal expert bot, for example, by simply gathering legal domain knowledge, building a generative AI model based on ChatGPT or other sources, and then packing it all into a chatbot for use.

One of the more interesting features of Microsoft’s AI development stack is the focus on AI knowledge provenance. Developers can take advantage of this feature to explicitly state the AI model’s reference material. It only works with images and media for now, but it’s a great step to addressing content creators’ rights. Maybe in the future it will take care of the hallucinating problem as well.


Copilots are Microsoft’s latest digital assistants, and these will use large language models to answer questions in a way familiar to ChatGPT users. There will be many of them: Copilot in Azure, Copilot in Teams, and now Copilot in Windows 11 itself. The assistant will function much like ChatGPT and be able to carry out some common Windows tasks. It will summarize documents, answer general questions, and essentially be everything Cortana should have been.

Copilots will use integrations by third-party plug-ins to make more advanced requests. Windows 11 Copilot integrates with Teams to automatically send messages and chats, for example. Microsoft is encouraging other third parties to create more plug-ins as well.

Watch it in action here: ​​​​​​​

Immersive Teams

Speaking of Teams, the long-awaited avatars are going to be available soon for general use. So if you are hesitant to show your face on camera in Teams calls, you can use your 3D cartoon avatar instead. Some attendees used them during the Build streaming events. It’s all to make calls more immersive, and they will also be usable in 3D worlds like Mesh or the general metaverse, whenever that takes off.

Metaverse Metaphysical Questions

The metaverse took a back seat to all the news about AI. (Microsoft has drastically downsized metaverse development.) But it did show up in updates to the Mesh metaverse as well as Teams integration. It also figured into the most metaphysical of all discussions.

Today, AI like ElevenLabs can accurately deepfake the human voice; MetaHuman can re-create very realistic 3D avatars; and ChatGPT can answer questions in the style of famous people. Just ask ChatGPT to answer queries as Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe to see what I mean.

So what happens if somebody trains a chat model on a living person’s knowledge using their social media, photos, and other personal documents as a data set and then merges it with that person’s physical and vocal AI models as well? You now have a complete digital twin that can sound like you, look like you, and answer questions the way you would.

Identity issues aside, what happens to the aggregate AI model once that human passes on? Will it also be deleted, archived, stored in a digital museum? Do you want it to keep going and learning, forever maintaining your presence on the world, or to be cast out into a digital cemetery?! Yeah, deep questions.

That was the focus of Build’s metaverse discussion – the merging of AI and the metaverse. It was far too big a topic to address in 30 minutes, but if you ask me, all we need to do is watch Black Mirror’s Be Right Back episode to see where this leads. The show explored this situation with eerie accuracy 10 long years ago.


It’s clear from Build 2023 that Microsoft wants to be the face of AI, both in the consumer space with Copilot as well as the developer segment where it is encouraging the development of domain-specific AIs. It’s likely that developers will at least incorporate some form of AI in their development stacks. AI will be ubiquitous to a point that it won’t need to be described as such. Just like smartphones are now just called phones, soon AI-infused or created software will just be better and more useful software. And if Microsoft has its way, it would all be built on and using Microsoft-owned tools and services.


Filed under:

Damir Kahvedžić

Damir Kahvedžić

Damir Kahvedžić is a technology expert specializing in providing clients with technical assistance in eDiscovery and Forensics cases. He has a PhD in Cybercrime and Digital Forensics Investigations from the Centre for Cybercrime Investigation in UCD and holds a first-class Honours B.Sc in Computer Science. Experienced in the use of industry leading software, such as Relativity, EnCase, NUIX, Cellebrite, Clearwell, and Brainspace, Damir is also a PRINCE2 and PECB ISO 21500 qualified project manager. Damir has published both academic and technical papers at several international conferences and journals including the European Academy of Law, Digital Forensic Research Workshop (DFRWS), Journal of Digital Forensics and Law amongst others.