Microsoft adds automated transcription to OneDrive

AI and machine-learning tools aim to make it easier to search for audio and video files

OneDrive and SharePoint are getting a bit smarter with search thanks to AI, with Microsoft unveiling automated transcription and image search.

Microsoft has been slowly feeding artificial intelligence and machine learning tools into Office 365, and this latest round includes the ability to analyse audio files and other rich content stored in Microsoft 365, notably OneDrive and SharePoint, to make it easier to find video clips, audio recordings and images without scrolling endlessly.

"A key to being productive is leveraging existing content so you're not reinventing the wheel," said Omar Shahine, partner director of program management for OneDrive and SharePoint, in a post. "Historically this has been challenging due to the exponential growth of digital content, particularly with image, video, and audio files. Until now, these rich file types have been cumbersome to manage and painful to sift through to find what you need, when you need it."

For example, AI-enabled automated transcription means you'll be able to search through audio or video by what's said in the file. Aside from making it easier to find a video clip you can't remember the file name of, it'll also improve accessibility and, if accurate enough, will change the lives of anyone who regularly transcribes audio files, journalists included.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"While viewing a video or listening to an audio file, a full transcript (improving both accessibility and search) will show directly in our industry-leading viewer, which supports over 320 different file types," said Shahine.

That feature will be arriving later this year, Shahine said.

He added that AI is also being used to analyse photos and images to make search easier, looking for where photos were taken, recognising objects, and reading text a function announced last year that sounds similar to Google Photos but works in SharePoint, handy for tracking down lost screenshots, snapshots and receipts.

"This recognition and text extraction allows you to search for images as easily as you search for documents," Shahine said. "For example, you could search a folder of scanned receipts for the receipt that mentions 'sushi.'"

Shanine also unveiled plans to rework how OneDrive and Office 365 surface files, so you immediately see those most relevant to your work, with new information soon to be added to the "Inside Look" file card that's shown when you click a document.

Microsoft also plans to make it easier to share content with fellow meeting attendees, nagging you with a notification after a meetup. "In the OneDrive mobile app, we'll automatically prompt you to share photos taken during the same meeting, perhaps of a whiteboard where you brainstormed new ideas with your colleagues all based on your Outlook calendar," Shanine added.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/cloud-security/34141/office-365-ban-in-german-schools-temporarily-lifted
cloud security

German schools Office 365 ban 'temporarily' lifted

2 Aug 2019
Visit/public-cloud/32837/microsoft-office-365-goes-down-across-europe
public cloud

Microsoft Office 365 goes down across Europe

25 Jan 2019
Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354478/microsoft-has-an-edge-on-aws-according-to-it-executives
cloud computing

Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

8 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/354336/the-it-pro-products-of-the-year-2019-all-the-years-best-hardware
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354526/memes-and-viking-funerals-the-internet-reacts-to-the
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/laptops/354533/dell-xps-13-new-9300-hands-on-review-chasing-perfection
Laptops

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020