Microsoft has announced plans to incorporate a plethora of new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning features into its Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite.
The company says that it will integrate what it claims are AI features across its range of office software, including enabling document translation, intelligent-threat detections, and simplifying spreadsheets.
It claimed that the technology is "already enhancing the productivity experience of over 120 million commercial Office 365 users". The firm added that users are now able to "discover insights from data, leverage organisational knowledge, arrive on time for event and more".
The company also claimed that it is injecting its unloved Bing search engine with some extra AI pixie dust, too. It detailed these plans at an event in San Francisco, according to IT Pro Portal.
The Excel spreadsheet has received a number of notable updates. Now kitted out with machine learning capabilities, the service can highlight important patterns and automatically generate new insights for users - or so Microsoft claims.
"Extracting key insights from a new data set can be intimidating. Today, we're announcing the preview of Insights in Excel - a new service that automatically highlights patterns it detects, which makes it easier for everyone to explore and analyse their data," claimed Microsoft.
"Powered by machine learning, Insights helps identify trends, outliers, and other useful visualisations, providing new and useful perspectives on data. Insights begins rolling out in preview to Office insiders this month."
With Word, the software should now be capable of understanding shorthand and acronyms used within organisations, Microsoft claimed. This feature will roll out next year.
"Every workplace is unique, and understanding the internal acronyms in use across an organisation can be essential to success," said Microsoft.
It continuted: "Acronyms helps people understand shorthand that is commonly used in their own workplaces by leveraging the Microsoft Graph to surface definitions of terms that have been previously defined across emails and documents."
Outlook has been overhauled as well and will ensure that employees never miss important business meetings.
"When it is time to leave for appointments, Outlook will now send a notification - with directions for both driving and public transit - taking into account current location, the event location, and real-time traffic information," explained Microsoft.
The firm has also previewed its Microsoft Whiteboard for Windows 10 device, which it describes as a "freeform digital canvas where people, ideas and content can come together".
"Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for teams who create and work together across multiple devices and locations," added the company.
"Unlike traditional whiteboards, the app uses AI to recognise freeform drawings and turn them into standard shapes, so it's easier to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts using only a pen.
"Users can work together in real-time on shared content and automatically save to the cloud to pick their work up later from another device. Microsoft Whiteboard is now available in preview from the Windows Store."
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