Microsoft injects AI into Teams so no one will ever forget what the meeting decided
In the virtual corporate world, slackers have nowhere to hide
Microsoft Teams – one of the go-to video meetup tools of the pandemic – is promising to "re-energize employees to achieve business results" by injecting a bit of AI into the mix.
Exploiting the functionality of OpenAI's GPT-3.5, the brains behind the chatbot-on-steroids ChatGPT, Microsoft says Teams Premium will offer a slew of new features. For example, intelligent recap promises to offer "automatically generated meeting notes, recommended tasks, and personalized highlights," presumably robbing attendees of the joy of arguing over what had been decided.
Leaving slackers nowhere to hide, AI-generated tasks and action items can be automatically allocated to individuals, while the system also offers automated note-taking, which – if other transcriptions services are anything to go by – promises to intersperse industry jargon and corporate groupthink with the odd fumbled badger.
Now generally available, the Teams facelift comes courtesy of OpenAI, the on-trend linguistic model maker in which Microsoft has invested $10 billion by way of a partnership project.
For multilingual organizations, "AI-powered real-time translations" for 40 spoken language is at hand, offering Teams Premium customers live captioning in their own language. Presumably English speakers must wait to translate Texan into Geordie or Scots.
Microsoft announced its Teams AI integration in a blog that claimed "economic uncertainties and changes to work patterns" means "organizations are searching for ways to optimize IT investments and re-energize employees to achieve business results."
- Microsoft warns some Azure usage notifications – including abnormalities – are broken
- Microsoft upgrades Defender to lock down Linux gear for its own good
- WAN router IP address change blamed for global Microsoft 365 outage
- Microsoft squashes Windows 11, Server 2022 bugs with preview patches
"Now – more than ever – organizations need solutions to adapt to change, improve productivity, and reduce costs. Fortunately, modern tools powered by AI hold the promise to boost individual, team, and organizational-level productivity and fundamentally change how we work," said Microsoft, which laid off 10,000 staff last month.
For those bursting with the desire to express themselves in the confines of the virtual corporate get-together, Microsoft has launched a Teams plugin for Elgato Stream Deck, purpose-built hardware that will allow users to toggle the camera, background and mute with the touch of a button. There is also a one-touch option to post heart-shaped on-screen "likes" which, in trigger-happy hands, offers a sure-fire way to becoming the most hated team member.
Microsoft's efforts to justify its AI spending spree far from make it alone in the market. This week enterprise ML specialist C3.ai also hopped on the bandwagon, pairing OpenAI's ChatGPT with data analysis tools to allow natural language queries "to rapidly locate, retrieve, and present all relevant data across the entire corpus of an enterprise's information systems." C3.ai's stock leapt 9 percent on the announcement. ®