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UK's Sage to launch generative AI assistant for small businesses

LONDON (Reuters) - British software company Sage will launch a generative AI-powered assistant in April to help its small business customers automate routine tasks such as producing invoices and chasing overdue debts, it said on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Steve Hare said Sage Copilot had been developed to access a customer's own data, for example supplier information, and specific public sources such as government tax documentation to ensure it was trustworthy.

He said Sage Copilot would be rolled out across the company's accounting, payroll and HR software this year.

Sage partnered with Microsoft, Amazon and others to develop the technology, he said, but all of its customers' data would remain within Sage's private network.

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"We're trying to train our model to be narrower, more focused, rather than go broad and look at everything," he said.

"With all the hype that's going on, we want to produce real solutions for real people, where we can say 'Look here's something that's an everyday bugbear for you, and we're going to automate that'."

Shares in Sage, which serves around 6 million small and medium-sized businesses, have risen 60% in the last 12 months.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Ros Russell)