An announcement of AI improvements to Microsoft products was recently made at a Microsoft AI event held in San Francisco, where a new partnership with Reddit was among other news shared by the company during the event.
To the delight of many Excel end users, Microsoft is incorporating new AI and machine learning features into its Office 365 productivity suite. The technology giant has indicated that it is simplifying Excel by allowing users to experience less hassle when performing data extraction, especially when a large number of data is involved which is usually the unfortunate case. The challenge of data extraction is made easier by the preview of Insights, which can automatically detect and highlight available patterns. Powered by machine learning, Insights allows users to better visualise and identify important data trends. A preview of this capability will be available to Office Insiders by the end of 2017.
As for Microsoft Word, it will be given a new feature called Acronyms which plans to be introduced to users subscribed to Word Online for 365 commercial in the next year. This is used for helping users understand commonly applied shorthand within their workplaces, and relies on Microsoft Graph for going through documents and emails to help find and reveal important definitions.
Furthermore, Microsoft is improving on the existing capabilities of Microsoft Outlook, aiming at improving user experience of detecting trips and deliveries, scheduling meetings, and triaging emails. According to Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Kirk Koenigsbauer, the company is bringing Cortana to the Outlook mobile app with the aim of improving user experience for workers always on the go. The newly improved Microsoft Outlook not only sends a notification to remind users of upcoming appointments, but also includes driving directions and information on public transit based on the user’s current location and real-time traffic conditions.
Also included in the range of new AI capabilities include a whiteboard app that is able to recognise freeform drawings, then transforming the drawings into standard shapes. OneDrive and SharePoint users will also enjoy AI features which automatically recognises content from images and extract the corresponding searchable text.
Microsoft has been working hard on incorporating AI and machine-learning capabilities into Office 365. Other features include advanced security features and document translation into the software which has achieved over 120 million commercial users. The technology giant is constantly improving their software and services for their clients in this ever-changing world. What may seem like modest improvements to the workplace - meeting notifications, excel data sorting, and virtual assistance to sift through emails - are all actually backed by extensive AI research and development by the brightest minds in the Microsoft organisation. In the long run, Microsoft will release more AI features and capabilities which are sure to breathe new life into the future of AI technology.
Talk to us at WM Reply where we are always happy to provide advice on how Microsoft’s AI features could help your business grow and thrive.