Chatbots are becoming an essential part of many businesses and organizations, as they can provide instant and personalized responses to customers and employees, reduce costs and workload, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, creating a chatbot that can handle complex and natural conversations is not an easy task. It requires a lot of data, skills, and resources to design, develop, and deploy a chatbot that can meet the expectations and needs of the users.

Fortunately, Microsoft has developed a solution that can simplify and accelerate the chatbot creation process: Copilot Studio. Copilot Studio is a cloud-based tool that leverages the power of OpenAI’s generative models and Microsoft’s Azure Bot Framework to enable anyone to create intelligent and versatile chatbots based on their own custom data. In this blogpost I will explain what Copilot Studio is, why you should use it, how much it costs, and how to get started with it.

The Studio

Copilot Studio is a tool that allows you to create AI-powered chatbots for a variety of scenarios, from providing simple answers to common questions to resolving issues that require complex conversations. You can use Copilot Studio to create chatbots that can engage with customers and employees in multiple languages across different channels, such as websites, mobile apps, Facebook, Microsoft Teams, or any other platform supported by the Azure Bot Framework.

The main feature of Copilot Studio is that it can generate chatbot responses based on your own custom data, such as a website, a document, or a knowledge base. You don’t need to write any code or design any dialogs, as Copilot Studio can automatically extract the relevant information from your data source and use it to train a chatbot that can answer questions and provide information related to your data.

What’s the cost?

Microsoft’s current pricing for Copilot Studio is £164.40 (this is dependent on currency, country, and regional variant factors though as this is converted from the dollar amount). This price includes the license to use Copilot Studio and the Azure Bot Framework, as well as 25,000 billable messages per month, with a billable message being a request or message sent to the chatbot that in turn triggers an action and/or response for your chatbot. You can exceed the monthly limit of billable messages, but you will you will be charged an additional fee per message. Unfortunately, I currently haven’t found any information on what this additional fee will be.

How to do it

Currently (at time of writing) you can still get a free license for Copilot studio, so it really is free and very easy to get started. Once you have a license you need to navigate to the Copilot Studio  and log in with the account the license is assigned to. You will then see the below (I’ve had to obfuscate the names of the bots as we have Purple Frog Client’s bots in here).

You will then need to click ‘New Copilot’ and you will come to a screen asking you to give your Copilot a unique name ( there can be no spaces in this, so underscores will be your best friend in breaking up words), the language you want the copilot to speak in (I believe you will now find most languages in there now, as it used to be just English when this was in public preview), and then a website that your copilot can then answer questions from using generative AI.

You then click ‘Create’ and within a minute you will have a bot you can ask questions on based on the data on the website you provided, and subsequently publish these to channels such as Teams and Facebook chat.

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