Microsoft previews AI for generating Power Apps formulas from natural language, examples

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Microsoft will use OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model and “other Microsoft AI technology” to generate Power Platform formulas, known as Power Fx, using natural language input from users.

“Now you’ll be able to simply tell Power Apps what you’d like to see—for example, ‘show me customers from the US whose subscription expired’—and a set of formulas will be presented along with an explanation of how they work,” explained Power Apps director of program management Ryan Cunningham.

The preview for the new toolset, called Power Apps Ideas, is due in June and will be built into Power Apps Studio.

Microsoft introduced Power Fx in March 2021 as a low-code programming language designed to eventually be used across all Power Platform tools. 

Microsoft invested $1 billion in an AI platform with OpenAI in 2019. The multiyear partnership called for Microsoft to be OpenAI’s preferred commercialization partner for technology. In 2020 Microsoft announced they had acquired an exclusive license for OpenAI’s GPT-3 model.

Cunningham stated that GPT-3 will be able to take logic expressed in natural language and “end up with the right formula for their app.” The GPT-3 model for Power Fx was tuned with Azure Machine Learning and is deployed to Azure Machine Learning managed endpoints, another newly announced service that allows model deployment without managing the underlying compute infrastructure, according to the company.

Power Apps Ideas will also feature programming by examples (PBE).