Microsoft Teams Premium Has the First Actually Useful Application of GPT-3
You might not care about enterprise software, but you will care about this.
Microsoft is adding OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 to its new Microsoft Teams Premium subscription service, the first obvious (and I’d argue, useful) integration of the company’s language processing expertise since OpenAI and Microsoft announced their expanded partnership in late January.
The updated service costs $10 per month and can automate several traditional administrative tasks you might have to keep track of during a meeting like taking notes or creating summaries. Google introduced a similar automated summary concept for conversations in Google Chat and Google Docs last year, but given the complexities of live video, it seems like OpenAI and Microsoft are taking things a good step further.
Microsoft is dubbing the Teams Premium feature that bundles together the app’s new AI-powered abilities “intelligent recap.” Thanks to larger language models powered by GPT-3.5 (a slightly updated version of the increasingly ubiquitous GPT-3) intelligent recap can create “automatically generated meeting notes, recommended tasks, and personalized highlights.” And that applies even if you don’t log on for the meeting.
Beyond generating text, Teams Premium will generally do a better job of knowing what you did and didn’t see or hear during a meeting, and make it easier to find the information that’s relevant to you. Microsoft says that intelligent recap will automatically generate labeled chapters for meetings, and create “personalized timeline markers” where you logged on and off recorded meetings so you can scrub to the parts you missed. Teams Premium will eventually do the same thing for speakers too, which means if you’re just looking for something one of your coworkers said, you can hop to write when they spoke.
A Reasonable Application of AI
Unlike say, trying to use an AI to replace entire industries, what Microsoft is offering here seems like a useful, and probably, reasonably reliable application of what OpenAI has been building. No other major collaboration software, be it Slack or Google Spaces, has something quite like what Microsoft Teams Premium will have when it fully enables all of its AI features — the text-generating parts — in the second quarter of 2023.
That seems like enough for those companies to be concerned. Google may be the originator of a lot of the machine learning models that viral hits like ChatGPT are built on, but it’s clearly feeling the heat from Microsoft’s aggressive rollout of AI features. Enough so that the company’s planning an event to demo some of the new stuff it’s working on next week. Will it be equally work-focused? It’s hard to say, but even in drier applications, if AI makes busywork less necessary, that seems like a win.