Microsoft's latest AI feature could make tired hacks whoop with pleasure

It will make finding that one tricky quote a doddle

MICROSOFT CAN'T HELP but stuff its software with artificial intelligence (AI), with Redmond now targeting its OneDrive cloud storage with some digital smarts.

The AI tech will take the form of a smart transcription tool which will cleverly whip up transcriptions of video and audio files stored in OneDrive to make finding specific quotes and information in non-text-based media easier to find. That noise you're hearing is a 'whoop' across the world of journalism.

It all looks pretty slick, at least from Microsoft's screenshots, as the AI-powered feature serves up time-stamped quotes alongside the media player, which should make it trivially easy to find the quote or information titbit you're looking for.

"This will help you utilise your personal video and audio assets, as well as collaborate with others to produce your best work," enthused Omar Shahine, partner director of program management for OneDrive and SharePoint.

The AI transcription will not only be popped into OneDrive but also Redmond's SharePoint service at some point later this year.

But Microsoft isn't content with having its AI tech work as a transcriber; it also wants to use the smart software to extract text in photos stored in OneDrive to make them easier to search, say looking in a folder of receipts for one that mentions "sausage roll".

The AI tech will also be used to recommend relevant files to users of OneDrive and on the homepage based on the user's activity across the Microsoft 365 cloud-based operating system and software suite, thanks to the use of Microsoft Graph.

Across the whole of Microsoft 365, Redmond is adding little smart tweaks such as offering to attach and send a PowerPoint presentation pretty much automatically after it's been completed, essentially streamlining work for busy office types.

So while the likes of Bill Gates get all worried about the rise of robots, real-world use of AI tech looks a lot more benevolent and will likely just as readily help get a dull task over and done with as it will tell a smart fridge to sour your milk.    Send article as PDF   
Author: Roland Moore-Colyer