Microsoft announces upcoming AI capabilities for OneDrive and SharePoint

Today, Microsoft highlighted some of the recent features brought to OneDrive and SharePoint, while also announcing some of the upcoming AI and machine learning capabilities that will be introduced later this year. These changes are aimed at making content storage more secure and productive, and allow you to perform better decision making.

The new features include video and audio transcription, intelligent sharing, file insights, and more. Further details of all the additional capabilities, and some of those which are already in use, have been described by Microsoft as follows:

  • Video and audio transcription—Beginning later this year, automated transcription services will be natively available for video and audio files in OneDrive and SharePoint using the same AI technology available in Microsoft Stream. While viewing a video or listening to an audio file, a full transcript (improving both accessibility and search) will show directly in our industry-leading viewer, which supports over 320 different file types. This will help you utilize your personal video and audio assets, as well as collaborate with others to produce your best work. Once you’re ready to make a video broadly available across the organization, you can upload and publish to Microsoft Stream. You’ll continue to get transcription services plus other AI driven capabilities, including in-video face detection and automatic captions. Importantly, your audio and video content never leaves the Microsoft Cloud; it is not passed through potentially costly and insecure third-party services.
  • Searching audio, video, and images—Announced last September, we are unlocking the value of photos and images stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. Using native, secure AI, we determine where photos were taken, recognize objects, and extract text in photos. This recognition and text extraction allows you to search for images as easily as you search for documents. For example, you could search a folder of scanned receipts for the receipt that mentions “sushi.” Video and audio files also become fully searchable thanks to the transcription services described earlier.
  • Intelligent files recommendations—Later this year, we’ll introduce a new files view to OneDrive and the home page to recommend relevant files to you. Suggested files are based on the intelligence of the Microsoft Graph and its understanding of how you work, who you work with, and activity on content shared with you across Microsoft 365. This deep understanding of user behavior and relationships among coworkers is unique to Microsoft 365 and continues to be enriched as you collaborate on content in OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • File insights—Earlier this year, we rolled out an updated file card, providing access statistics for any file stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. This allows you to see who has looked at the file and what they have been doing, and it helps you decide your next action. Later this year, we’ll bring these valuable file statistics directly into the native Office application experience. Additionally, we’ll introduce additional insights to the file card with “Inside look,” giving you important information at a glance—including time to read and key points from the document, so you can choose to dive in deeper or save it for later.
  • Intelligent sharing—Later this year, you’ll have the option to easily share relevant content with meeting attendees. For instance, if you just presented a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll be prompted to share it with the other attendees once the meeting is over. In the OneDrive mobile app, we’ll automatically prompt you to share photos taken during the same meeting, perhaps of a whiteboard where you brainstormed new ideas with your colleagues—all based on your Outlook calendar. This type of real-world intelligence allows you to quickly keep everyone informed and move on to your next task and is exclusively available when you store your content in OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Data insights—Earlier this year at the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we showed you how you could immediately enrich your OneDrive and SharePoint content with intelligence by leveraging the flexibility of Microsoft Flow and the power of Azure Cognitive Services. Since these services are powered by Microsoft Azure, you can get sentiment analysis, key word extraction, and even custom image recognition—all while keeping your content secure in the Microsoft Cloud and away from potentially costly and insecure third-party services. Additionally, you can use information provided by these cognitive services to set up custom workflows to organize images, trigger notifications, or invoke more extensive business processes directly in OneDrive and SharePoint with deep integration to Microsoft Flow.
  • Intelligent compliance—In addition to being able to apply native data loss prevention (DLP) policies and conduct native eDiscovery searches on textual content stored in OneDrive and SharePoint, with the innovations discussed above, we’re making it even easier to use these key compliance capabilities with audio, video, and images later this year. Soon you’ll be able to leverage the text extracted from photos and audio/video transcriptions to automatically apply these policies and protect this content.

In addition, the recently introduced Files Restore feature for OneDrive has also been described as an example of AI being used to provide better security, working in conjunction with the Known Folder Move.

Interestingly, Microsoft announced its intentions to merge the Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Roadmaps quite recently as well. This change will occur just in time for Ignite 2018 - set to begin on September 24 -, where we expect to learn more about these upcoming features, along with improvements to the tech giant's current offerings.

Source and images: Microsoft

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