Microsoft has announced that small businesses and consumers can buy paid subscriptions for its AI Copilot service, marking the US tech giant looking for ways to monetise the emerging technology. 

Following Copilot being released as a free addition to Microsoft’s Bing search engine last year, the company is now offering advanced capabilities in an AI service for $20 a month. 

Copilot Pro will add an AI assistant to Microsoft applications, including Word, and will give subscribers access to AI models GPT 4 and GPT 4-Turbo.

Microsoft said the subscription will boost creativity and productivity by offering accelerated performance.

“Whether you need advanced help with writing, coding, designing, researching or learning, Copilot Pro brings greater performance, productivity and creativity,” according to a Microsoft blog post. 

Microsoft has also announced the minimum number of employees needed for Copilot’s enterprise version has been decreased.

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By GlobalData

This means that smaller businesses will be able to access the increased AI security controls and Microsoft Teams upgrade for $30 per-month per-seat.

The move comes as the GenAI and AI race rages on with industry heavyweights looking to monetise the emerging technology in an increasingly crowded market. 

ChatGPT-maker OpenAI has secured 260 enterprise customers for ChatGPT since its launch just four months ago.

The 260 businesses collectively employ over 150,000 individuals who have registered to utilise the advanced capabilities offered by the corporate version of ChatGPT.

The business-focused version of ChatGPT provides businesses with unlimited usage of the GPT model and allows business customers to work with much longer written prompts than the free consumer version. 

Research firm GlobalData estimates the total AI market will be worth $383.3bn in 2030, implying a 21% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030.