APS heavyweights sit out Microsoft Copilot trial

Two of Canberra’s biggest federal government agencies are sitting out a six-month trial of Microsoft Copilot while another 7,400-plus public servants put the generative artificial intelligence assistant through its paces.

Services Australia and the Department of Defence, which together employ more than 130,000 Australian Public Sector (APS) staff, have both passed up the trial that will run until at least until the end of June.

Announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in November, the Copilot trial – initially costed at $1.2 million – is intended to help public servants test “new ways to innovate and enhance productivity”.

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