Microsoft's AI Copilot is coming to your messaging apps, starting with Telegram

Telegram logo render
(Image credit: Dima Solomin/Unsplash)

Whether you love or hate Microsoft’s Copilot AI, there could be no escaping it soon as it has recently been spotted crawling around messaging apps, specifically Telegram. Microsoft seems to have sneakily introduced Copilot into the messaging app, allowing Telegram users to experience it firsthand. 

According to Windows Latest, the move is part of a new project from Microsoft dubbed ‘copilot-for-social’, which is an initiative to bring generative AI to social media apps. The Copilot bot seems to currently work in Telegram in the US and UK (and possibly other regions). It’s available for free, although it requires your phone number to work.

Telegraph and Copilot

(Image credit: Future)

You can find the bot by typing in ‘@CopilotOfficialBot’ into Telegram’s search bar, whereupon a new message thread will open and Copilot will give you the rundown of everything it can do. Keep in mind that there is a query limit of 30 questions a day, but given that you don’t need to create a separate account and it’s all completely free, that’s not a bad setup. 

Copilot appears to work similarly to how you use it on a PC. The AI can also be used on the desktop, phone and web versions of Telegram. 

Great, I hate it 

From what we understand the reason why you need to verify your phone number to enable Copilot in Telegram is to stop people within the EU from gaining access (likely due to data regulations and stricter laws in that region). We’re sure in time that EU users will have the chance to try it out, but as of now, they’re going to have to wait.

Copilot may be exciting news to some, but others may not like the idea of an AI having access to their messaging app (there could be trust issues for some Telegram users, we’d imagine). Furthermore, this does give me flashbacks to Snapchat’s AI chatbot, a rather bizarre affair that died as quickly as it popped up.

It seems like generative AI chatbots are becoming harder and harder to escape, as Telegram surely will not be the end of Copilot’s mobile integration plans. Microsoft could also push for integration with WhatsApp, Messenger and more, which I would find unbearable frankly. 

Hopefully, Microsoft will stick with the non-invasive setup that Copilot seems to have in Telegram, where you must actively seek it out, rather than having the AI shoved into your messages by default somehow.

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).