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Microsoft shows off its new artificial intelligence for Office

by on27 September 2016

We know what you do in meetings

Microsoft has announced several new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features for Office 365 and Dynamics 365 for Sales.

CEO Satya Nadella told the assembled throngs at the Ignite conference this week in Atlanta, that Vole will have new AI features across its core products for the enterprise.

He claimed this was all about Microsoft "democratizing AI" for everyone to solve the world's most pressing challenges.

"To do this, we're infusing intelligence into everything we deliver, from the agent to applications, services and infrastructure," said Nadella.

Office 365 gets a Tap in Word and Outlook, which aims to help workers reuse content already to be found in corporate documents for new documents and emails. There is Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway, which is supposed to be a faster way to integrate text and images into presentations. Excel meanwhile will gain a Bing Maps feature to visualize geographic data.

There is also MyAnalytics personal analytics service, which provides a visualized breakdown of personal performance at work, offering a snapshot of 'meeting hours', 'email hours', 'focus hours' and 'after hours'.

Users can also query the percentage of email read by recipients and what time email was read to help workers optimise the timing of email. MyAnalytics is supposed to help workers manage how they personally spend their time at work. Although the answer to that is always “too much” and that people should be getting a life. We are not sure how much AI you need before you realise that.

The software has a social component that shows response times to colleagues as well as customers so uses can discover how much time was spent multi-tasking and assess whether it was time well spent.

Microsoft is also using AI to enhance businesses processes and customer relationships for salespeople who use Dynamics 365 for Sales. It has a “Relationships Assistant” which is a lot less sexy than it sounds. It uses Cortana bring bits of customer data scattered across a network to provide a snapshot of useful information to help manage relationships.

Last modified on 27 September 2016
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