Microsoft Is Using AI to Make Meetings Smarter

Author: David McMillin       

You’re already using Microsoft’s tools to edit documents and send emails. Now, the company wants to help you produce live meetings and events with a range of tools designed to simplify content management.

You’ve probably heard the inspirational voice of Common discuss the power of artificial intelligence tools in Microsoft commercials. “You have more power at your fingertips than entire generations that came before you,” the rapper and actor declares. “We are living in the future we always dreamed of.” Now, the tech giant is hoping users will leverage that power to transform meetings and events with a new suite of capabilities for live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365.

“Live events enable producers to curate and control the content that is broadcast to an audience,” Dan Holme, director of product marketing at Microsoft, wrote in an announcement. “Attendees can participate in real time with high-definition video and interactive discussion or catch up later with powerful AI features that unlock the content of the event recording.”

Those post-meeting features may prove to be the most useful. Event organizers often capture hundreds of hours of meeting content, but combing through all of that content can be daunting. Microsoft’s new tools aim to simplify the process of tracking down speakers and discussion sections. A speaker timeline feature uses facial detection to identify who is talking and lets viewers skip to a particular speaker at any point in the recording. A speech-to-text function automatically transcribes the conversation and displays the material in closed captions. However, viewers don’t need to dig through a mountain of text; a transcript search makes locating certain moments easy.

The initial launch of the product seems to cater to internal company broadcasts, touting the ability to “enable new scenarios for employee engagement and communications.” However, the offering has potential for conference organizers who want to maximize the content from their meetings. Rather than simply archiving full on-demand sessions and webinars and inviting members to earn education credits for a 60-minute session, the transcription function can help create material for blog posts and identify memorable quotes for social-media sharing. In an age where the adage “content is king” is constantly echoing in our ears, these features may be key to wearing the crown.

Interested in seeing how Microsoft’s products could play a role in elevating your organization’s digital engagement strategy? Check out the video below.

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