There’s a lot of chatter these days about which major tech company is going to field the best AI assistant. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon and others all have their various entrants. Microsoft’s most famous one is Cortana, the interactive bot now built into Windows 10 and inspired by the Xbox game Halo. But talking to your computer and having it talk back is still off-putting to a lot of people especially people in crowded offices who don’t want their coworkers to hear them talking to a machine all day.
Microsoft’s latest attempt at AI is much more understated, and much more useful. As VentureBeat explains:
Microsoft MyAnalytics constantly analyzes all of your Outlook and scheduling activity. It knows when you attend meetings and with whom; it knows how fast you respond to incoming emails; and it lets you pick people who are important on a project and then tracks your interactions with those people, whether or not they use Outlook. Let’s say you attend a meeting with Bob in Marketing 3-4 times per week. MyAnalytics can determine a few things about your time investment. It can discover that you usually spend the last 15 minutes of the meeting processing email. And, it can determine that, since you are in marketing, it might make sense to split up your time with Bob and bow out of a few meetings.
This feature is available now to Office 365 E5 subscribers, and it looks like a way AI can actually help you without getting in your way.