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Microsoft Announces More AI-powered Features for OneDrive and SharePoint Due Later This Year

Microsoft is introducing new ways of working that leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for Microsoft 365 to manage and collaborate on content stored in OneDrive and SharePoint due for a release later this year.

The new upcoming features, including audio and video transcription, intelligent sharing, file insights, recommendations and more. These upcoming changes are aimed at making content storage more secure and productive, and allow you to perform better decision-making.

Video and Audio Transcription

Starting “later this year,” Microsoft will be natively adding “automated” transcription to video and audio files in OneDrive and SharePoint. It will be using the same AI technology that’s used in Microsoft Stream business video services.

With this transcription service, audio and video files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint will become more accessible and searchable. These files can also be published on to Microsoft Stream, and as a bonus, Microsoft will provide transcription services as well as other AI-driven capabilities, including in-video face detection and automatic captions.

A screenshot above shows a video and its transcript on the right sidebar:

Intelligent Files Recommendations

Also, “later this year,” a new files view to OneDrive and the Office.com home page will become available that will make recommendations about relevant files. These suggestions are based on the Microsoft Graph’s intelligence and include suggested applications, documents/files/sites, people and more.

Thanks to AI, the tap feature in Word 2016 and Outlook 2016 intelligently recommends content to “reuse while creating new documents.” This allows to leverage and repurpose a paragraph, table, graphic, chart, or more from another file while working on a new document or email.

A screenshot below displays intelligent recommendations in Office 365:

Intelligent recommendations in Microsoft 365

Intelligent Sharing

A new option to share relevant content with meeting attendees based on information from Outlook calendars will also available later this year. For example, users will be prompted to share presentations discussed in a PowerPoint presentation with other attendees once the meeting is over. In OneDrive mobile app, users will automatically get prompt to share photos taken during a meeting.

A screenshot below shows the new intelligent file sharing feature:

Intelligent File Sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint

Searching Audio, Video, and Images

By leveraging AI, Microsoft now determines where photos were taken, recognize objects and extract text in photos, so users can search photos and images in OneDrive and SharePoint. For example, a folder of scanned receipts can search for the receipt that mentions “sushi.”

A screenshot below shows new intelligent search in Office 365:

Search Audio, Video and Images in OneDrive and SharePoint

File Insights

Microsoft plans to add the updated “file card” insights that it rolled out earlier this year to the native Office application interface later this year. This file card provides access to statistics for files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint. This let’s see who has looked and done with a file.

Additionally, it also plans to add an “Inside look” to the file card to give additional important information, such as time to read and key points from the document to let users decide whether to read now or save it for later. This is a later this year planned release.

A screenshot below shows inside look in the file card:

Inside look in Microsoft 365 File Card

Data Insights

Powered by Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and Microsoft Flow, the data insights can get sentiment analysis, keyword extraction and custom image recognition from content stored in Microsoft Cloud. Also, this information can be used to set up custom workflows to organize images, trigger notifications, or invoke more extensive business processes directly in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Further details of all the additional capabilities and some of those which are already in use have been described by Microsoft as follows:

OneDrive files restore with a full 30 days file history, machine learning and integration with Windows Defender Antivirus help to spot potential attacks early and guide through the remediation process. Thanks to ‘Known Folder Move,’ files can be easily moved to OneDrive.

Also, “later this year,” Microsoft will let use its native data loss prevention (DLP) policies and native eDiscovery searches [currently available on textual content stored in OneDrive and SharePoint] with audio, video, and images.

By leveraging the text extracted from photos and audio/video transcriptions, users will be able to automatically apply these policies and protect content.


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