If you were able to live-stream the Keynote address from Satya Nadella, you quickly read between the lines that AI is going to be very big this year. Microsoft announced that Bing for Business (B4B) is in preview for select Office 365 subscriptions. Microsoft did a demo that showed how an organization can utilize Bing for Business (new and now in preview) to import, for example, a company handbook, and using the AI features in Bing for Business, type in “How many vacation days do I get each year”? One would just assume that B4B is just performing an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) read of that data somewhere in the handbook, but nowhere in the handbook is “How many vacation days to I get each year” spelled out. With the technology of AI, Bing for Business was able to figure that out. Microsoft also demonstrated the use of the personal assistance software Cortana, integrated with Exchange Online and an HR system. The employee was able to just tell Cortana, “I’m going to take vacation next week”. Automatically, the employee’s time was checked in the HR system, paid time off booked, and even the employee’s out-of-office message was automatically set in Outlook for next week.
For Augmented Reality, Microsoft demonstrated the use of their Hololens linked with Teams and Skype for Business on how people could meet in AR as well as collaborate together on projects as if they were standing next to each other. Very cool!