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Early LLM-based Tools for Enterprise Information Workers Likely Provide Meaningful Boosts to Productivity Academic Paper Alert!

Written by Alexia Cambon, Brent Hecht, Ben Edelman, Donald Ngwe, Sonia Jaffe, Amy Heger, Mihaela Vorvoreanu, Sida Peng, Jake Hofman, Alex Farach

Article Section: Application Development and Deployment; Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms

Publication Date: December, 2023

SEO Description: Microsoft study reveals Copilot, an LLM tool, significantly boosts productivity in enterprise tasks.

Cambon, Alexia, et al. Early LLM-Based Tools for Enterprise Information Workers Likely Provide Meaningful Boosts to Productivity.


Copilot, productivity, enterprise information workers, LLM-based tools, task execution

AI-Generated Paper Summary

Generated by Ethical AI Researcher GPT


This report, a first update from Microsoft’s research initiative on AI and Productivity, presents findings on the impact of Large Language Model (LLM)-powered tools, such as Microsoft’s Copilot, on productivity in enterprise settings. The research involved various studies assessing the effects of these tools on common tasks performed by enterprise information workers. Key findings indicate that LLM-based tools like Copilot significantly boost productivity, primarily reflected in increased speed of task execution without compromising quality. Additionally, the willingness-to-pay for these tools is higher among users with experience using them, suggesting they offer value beyond initial expectations. The report anticipates future research directions, including broader task coverage and roles, and more diverse methodologies.

Author Caliber

  • Authors: The paper is authored by a large team from Microsoft, including researchers Alexia Cambon, Brent Hecht, Ben Edelman, Donald Ngwe, and others, indicating a high level of expertise and resources.
  • Institutional Affiliation: The research is conducted under the auspices of Microsoft, a leading entity in technology and AI research, lending credibility and significant weight to the findings.

Novelty & Merit

  1. Innovative Approach: The study is one of the first comprehensive assessments of LLM-powered tools on productivity, particularly focusing on Microsoft’s Copilot.
  2. Extensive Research: It encompasses over 30 studies, offering a broad view of the productivity impacts of these tools.
  3. Quality of Output: The research provides insights into how AI tools can maintain quality while increasing speed.
  4. Perceived Value: The study also explores the perceived value of these tools among users, an important aspect of technology adoption.

Commercial Applications

  1. Enterprise Productivity Tools: The findings can guide the development of more effective AI-powered tools for various enterprise applications.
  2. Human Resource Management: Insights from the study could influence how organizations plan workforce strategies around AI tools.
  3. Marketing and Sales Strategies: Understanding user perceptions and willingness-to-pay can inform marketing strategies for AI products.
  4. Policy and Governance: The results can contribute to discussions on AI governance and policy-making in the corporate context.

Findings and Conclusions

  1. Productivity Boost: LLM-based tools like Copilot substantially increase productivity in enterprise information worker tasks.
  2. Speed vs. Quality: Increased productivity is mainly reflected in the speed of task execution, without significant quality degradation.
  3. User Perception: Users who have experienced these tools tend to value them more highly, suggesting real-world utility beyond initial expectations.
  4. Diverse Impact: The report highlights the varied impact across different tasks and worker roles, suggesting the need for further research in diverse settings.

Author’s Abstract

This report presents the initial findings of Microsoft’s research initiative on “AI and Productivity”, which seeks to measure and accelerate the productivity gains created by LLM-powered productivity tools like Microsoft’s Copilot. The many studies summarized in this report, the initiative’s first, focus on common enterprise information worker tasks for which LLMs are most likely to provide significant value. Results from the studies support the hypothesis that the first versions of Copilot tools substantially increase productivity on these tasks. This productivity boost usually appeared in the studies as a meaningful increase in speed of execution without a significant decrease in quality. Furthermore, we observed that the willingness-to-pay for LLM-based tools is higher for people who have used the tools than those who have not, suggesting that the tools provide value above initial expectations. The report also highlights future directions for the AI and Productivity initiative, including an emphasis on approaches that capture a wider range of tasks and roles.

Read the full paper here

Last updated on December 16th, 2023.