As personal computing continues to draw on previous technical enhancements, we are now beginning to see those previous enhancements come together to amalgamate and work together in the early stages of meaningful AI. AI for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym is short for Artificial intelligence, meaning that computer-related systems are capable of performing tasks that usually require human thought intervention to complete various tasks. You can be forgiven for not being overly excited by this statement as the term Artificial Intelligence has been well overused in a range of less than exciting areas.
That said, Microsoft is now working on the front foot and putting real advantages using AI into their systems to make tasks much more intuitive to our needs while reducing our need to assist in the completion of these tasks.
One Simple Example Of Microsofts Usability In Microsoft Office 365
If you use the Microsoft suite of applications you would be familiar with Cortana, Outlook Calendar, Google Maps and Google Location. The AI platform is now integrating these applications so that they can communicate and share information with each other to be able to base decisions of its combined system knowledge and communicate its final decision making to you.
Using the above applications is Microsoft’s Time To Go which is still under development and being refined. Consider for a moment that you are a sales executive charged with visiting clients at preset appointments. The way that Time To Go is being developed would allow the below scenario.
The AI app would scan your Outlook calendar to see what appointments were upcoming. Once it recognizes an appointment it would get the date, time and address of the appointment. The system would then check to see where your current location is and will begin to scan the possible transport routes and public transport options available to it. It will look at the best route to have you arrive at the first transport stop in time to catch the bus or train to be in time for the meeting, From there it will backtrack to determine the best time for you to leave to make the appointment on time.
MS maps have the ability to search the travel plans laid to see if there were any roadworks, accidents other any other holdups in maps that would impede your arriving on time. This information is then delivered back to Cortana who will advise you when it is time to leave for your appointment, the transport routes that you will be taking, any delays to be expected and your arrival time at your destination. If you prefer to take your own vehicle it will perform the same tasks, however, with the flexibility of driving the system would reroute you past any slow traffic areas and will alter your route to again allow you to arrive in time. It can also print or message you with the directions.
The above is just one example of applications such as Cortana using the data that is now readily available to it to take actions, make decisions and deliver all of this to you. While you may not be overly excited by this because let us face it we have been used to getting to destinations on our own for a long time. The breakthrough is that if it can perform this simple function (and trust me, in a year or millions, will be relying on this technology to plan their days and travel plans) we have to consider what other applications will be able to communicate with each other to reduce or preferably remove us from requiring any input in the decision making.
Cortana is already in use as one of Microsoft‘s AI applications with the ability to take your spoken commands and act upon them. With this next level of understanding and due to the growth of integration between each of Micro Softs applications only creativity is slowing the ongoing development of the continued growth the use of AI in our everyday work lives.
So, what information is available to Cortana as it reviews our daily activities and the manner and depth in which we use the MS range of products?
How will it be able to interpret that lasted Excel dashboard results, can it begin to send out low-level inquiries to staff with anomalies found in performance areas from sales reports? Can it document ongoing performance issues that it finds with individuals, alert them by email and update their HR records all without your needing to be involved except receiving a report on Cortana’s actions?
Companies are still really on the starting edge of what life will look like once they begin to create more sophisticated interactions?
AI is now becoming an everyday reality and I for one am ready to embrace it as it grows and becomes our new reality.