The Future is Now: Exploring AI in the Power Platform

As the leader of the Cambridge Power Platform User Group, I’m constantly inspired by the passion and expertise of our community. At our latest quarterly event, we brought together some of the brightest minds around to explore one of the most exciting frontiers in technology today – artificial intelligence. Specifically, we took a deep dive into how AI capabilities like Microsoft Copilot are integrating into Power Apps, Power Automate, and other Microsoft cloud services.  

Kicking off the sessions, we heard from Microsoft MVP Sancho Harker on the importance of building your fundamentals before relying too heavily on AI. He used great analogies like being handed a finished cake and asked to recreate it without knowing the baking process. The key takeaway – learn the core layers first so you can understand and tweak what Co-pilot and other AI generates.  

Up next, Katarina Chernevskaya gave us a tour of Co-pilot features across several Power Platform tools. It was eye-opening to see Co-pilot instantly generate starter apps, flows, and chatbots with just a few prompts. However, as Sancho mentioned, crafting precise prompts is critical so the AI delivers what you really need. Katarina’s top tip – keep experimenting and refining prompts until the output is just right.  

We then heard from Microsoft MVP Shruti Sharma on integrating AI through custom connectors. She demonstrated building a connector to OpenAI and leveraging it in Power Apps and Power Automate. This opens up intriguing possibilities for our community to tap into AI services like image and text generation. As Shruti emphasized, connectors make APIs easily consumable.  

Wrapping up the sessions, we were privileged to have previous speaker Divya Akula share how to moderate and control AI outputs responsibly. Using examples in Azure Cognitive Services, she showed how to detect and filter harmful content. Governance is key as we adopt these technologies. I’m proud our user group provides balanced perspectives on using AI ethically.  

The overarching themes from the event were clear – blend AI with human expertise, train AI thoughtfully, and govern usage responsibly. New innovations like Co-pilot hold great promise to accelerate our development and unlock new possibilities. But we must lay the proper foundations and controls first. Fundamentals still matter – that is what sets us humans apart.  

On behalf of the entire Cambridge Power Platform User Group, I want to thank our amazing speakers for sharing their wisdom. Our community has grown so much yet maintains a spirit of curiosity and collective learning. If this recap has piqued your interest, I invite you to join us at our next event. The future is what we make of it – let’s build it together!

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