If you watched the Super Bowl NFL championship football game last night — and sat through all the many commercials — then you probably saw an ad from Microsoft for its new Copilot AI app.
Promoting the successor to Bing Chat as “your everyday AI companion,” and a way to do far more than search, including create new imagery and code for games using the underlying generative AI large language models (LLMs), Microsoft’s Copilot Super Bowl ad seems to have done its job and gotten more people to download the Copilot app.
Copilot was the second most free popular app in the Apple App Store at the time of this article’s writing, and the number 12 most downloaded app in the Google Play Store for Android devices.Screenshot of Apple App Store Top Charts on iPhone as of Feb. 12, 2024. Credit: VentureBeat Screenshot of Google Play Store Top Charts as of Feb. 12, 2024. Credit: VentureBeat
Yet, all is not well for Microsoft’s AI ambitions: a number of users on X (formerly Twitter) noted that the app, as well as Google’s rival Gemini, produced outdated and incorrect info when they tried to ask it information about the big game and the two participating teams, the San Francisco 49ers and victorious Kansas City Chiefs. (Classic Google Search, for what it’s worth, returned the correct information about both teams.)
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In the case of Copilot, it erroneously named Miami Dolphins player Tyreek Hill as being still on the Kansas City Chiefs even though he was traded in 2022, suggesting a date cutoff on its knowledge.
When I checked just a few minutes ago, Microsoft Copilot was returning accurate information for my prompts.
However, this is one issue with LLMs in general — inconsistent responses, with the same prompt returning sometimes wildly different results for different users.
So, while the surge in interest in Microsoft’s Copilot app is an encouraging sign for the company’s growing AI ambitions, if users don’t find the app to be accurate or reliable, they’ll likely ditch it in favor of other alternatives.
Put another way: Microsoft has an opportunity now to capitalize on the public interest generated (pun intended) by its Copilot Super Bowl ad — whether or not it does so will determine Copilot’s future success, to a great extent.
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