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Microsoft 365 users will soon have a number of new AI-powered features, from image recognition that automatically generates Excel spreadsheets to automated meeting transcripts from Microsoft Teams video calls.

Microsoft Search is a new service that will give users the ability to search across 365, sifting through Office apps, SharePoint, OneDrive, and third-party offerings. Search is now available in preview on and and builds on search personalization for 365 customers introduced a year ago.

Available today for the first time are meeting recording capabilities for Microsoft Teams that can do things like use facial recognition to blur the background during video calls and create time-coded transcripts.

The announcements were made today at Microsoft Ignite, a conference being held in Orlando, Florida for IT professionals. Also announced today: a $40 million commitment from Microsoft to support AI for the good of humanity, as well as automated machine learning and the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise.


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Live event recording, transcript creation, and video encoding capabilities shown off by Microsoft earlier this year were first made available in Yammer and Microsoft Stream.

Ahead of Ignite, Microsoft last week announced new AI services for marketers and sales people, as well as plans to soon introduce HoloLens for experts to provide assistance to remote workers and give companies the ability to lay out items in settings like factories, retail, or elsewhere on Dynamics 365.

Image recognition technology that lets users turn pictures of data tables into Excel files and the ability to add interactive elements to Excel spreadsheets were also introduced today.

And while Search will help people get the files they need, Ideas is a new assistant service that recommends users take specific actions based on past activity. For example, it can recognize outliers in Excel spreadsheets or recommend the use of specific layout or images in a PowerPoint presentation.

More to come

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