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Seven ways AI may improve meetings, per Microsoft



Seven ways AI may improve meetings, per Microsoft

The schedules of the majority of working professionals are packed with meetings, which frequently act as a barrier to productivity because they require excessive amounts of time or don’t really need you in the first place. Microsoft says its AI products can help you optimize your meetings.

According to a recent Microsoft Work Trend Index research, “inefficient meetings” was cited by respondents as the biggest productivity impediment. Microsoft thus noted meeting failure points and the ways in which Copilot and other AI technologies can be helpful in a recent blog post.

It can help you stay current

Everyone has experienced being late for a meeting they didn’t want to miss, despite their best efforts to be on time. Nothing is worse than quickly jumping on a call when it’s too late, not knowing what you missed, and not wanting to ask a question that has already been answered out of fear. Alternatively, perhaps you dozed off and missed crucial information throughout the discussion.

Copilot in Microsoft Teams can quickly summarize the main points of the meeting to assist you and the others stay on the same page and close the information gap. If you are still unclear, you can just ask Copilot for more details rather than interjecting queries into the middle of the discussion.

It can allow you to miss events

If you have a full schedule of meetings, you will probably have to prioritize which meetings to attend in order to finish your task. But that doesn’t mean you have to rely solely on notes from others or lose out on the knowledge completely.

Users of Copilot will soon have access to automatically generated meeting recaps that include notes and recommended tasks for follow-up instead. Users will also have the ability to “follow” a meeting in March, which will cause the host to log it on Teams. A summary and the recording are later available to users.

It can offer guidance to you in meetings

If you have ever conducted a video conference presentation, you are aware of how uncomfortable it may be to wait for participants to unmute, join in, and offer feedback. Frequently, this discrepancy results in meetings taking longer than necessary.

You may now discuss in private how to further the Copilot conversation with Teams using Copilot in Teams. You can ask questions like “What can I ask to move the meeting forward?” or “What issues are still unresolved?” as Microsoft provides examples. After that, Copilot will go through the transcript of the meeting and recommend possible things for you to say.

It can help you turn off background noise

While at work, scheduling a meeting room for your video conference can be difficult because you and your coworkers are fighting for the same small amount of space. As a result, you probably have to attend meetings from your noisy desk quite a bit.

Teams includes a noise suppression feature to help with that, which can help keep meetings focused on speech while eliminating background noise. Teams will “soon” have a voice isolation function that will identify your voice and muffle background noise, according to Microsoft.

It’s sort of clean enough for your office

While your room isn’t ready for the meeting, are you? Teams Premium has a “Decorate your background” function that lets you employ generative AI to improve your real-world environment.

Generative AI can be used, for instance, to virtually decorate your space or clear clutter. By not needing to display your space in its entirety, this function can assist you avoid utilizing unrealistically large backdrops and maintain the atmosphere of your room.

It can provide you with presenting skills coaching

Like any skills, presenting well is a skill that needs to be practiced. Microsoft’s Speaker Coach may assist with that by analyzing your voice for things like tempo, pitch, filler words, repeated vocabulary, and more. It can also provide you with real-time feedback and a comprehensive analysis later.

It can eliminate communication gaps

Meetings can occasionally involve people whose language is different from yours, which can make it difficult to carry on a conversation. With real-time translations in up to 40 spoken languages that participants may read via captions or transcripts, Teams Premium’s live translation tool can help keep the conversation flowing.


Biden, Kishida Secure Support from Amazon and Nvidia for $50 Million Joint AI Research Program



As the two countries seek to enhance cooperation around the rapidly advancing technology, President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have enlisted Inc. and Nvidia Corp. to fund a new joint artificial intelligence research program.

A senior US official briefed reporters prior to Wednesday’s official visit at the White House, stating that the $50 million project will be a collaborative effort between Tsukuba University outside of Tokyo and the University of Washington in Seattle. A separate collaborative AI research program between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Tokyo’s Keio University is also being planned by the two nations.

The push for greater research into artificial intelligence comes as the Biden administration is weighing a series of new regulations designed to minimize the risks of AI technology, which has developed as a key focus for tech companies. The White House announced late last month that federal agencies have until the end of the year to determine how they will assess, test, and monitor the impact of government use of AI technology.

In addition to the university-led projects, Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that it would invest $2.9 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, met with Kishida on Tuesday. The company released a statement announcing its intention to establish a new AI and robotics lab in Japan.

Kishida, the second-largest economy in Asia, urged American business executives to invest more in Japan’s developing technologies on Tuesday.

“Your investments will enable Japan’s economic growth — which will also be capital for more investments from Japan to the US,” Kishida said at a roundtable with business leaders in Washington.

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OnePlus and OPPO Collaborate with Google to Introduce Gemini Models for Enhanced Smartphone AI



As anticipated, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, are heavily integrating AI into their products. Google is working with OnePlus, OPPO, and other companies to integrate Gemini models into their smartphones. They intend to introduce the Gemini models on smartphones later this year, becoming the first OEMs to do so. Gemini models will go on sale later in 2024, as announced at the Google Cloud Next 24 event. Gemini models are designed to provide users with an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience on their gadgets.

Customers in China can now create AI content on-the-go with devices like the OnePlus 12 and OPPO Find X7 thanks to OnePlus and OPPO’s Generative AI models.

The AI Eraser tool was recently made available to all OnePlus customers worldwide. This AI-powered tool lets users remove unwanted objects from their photos. For OnePlus and OPPO, AI Eraser is only the beginning.

In the future, the businesses hope to add more AI-powered features like creating original social media content and summarizing news stories and audio.

AndesGPT LLM from OnePlus and OPPO powers AI Eraser. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series already have this feature, it is still encouraging to see OnePlus and OPPO taking the initiative to include AI capabilities in their products.

OnePlus and OPPO devices will be able to provide customers with a more comprehensive and sophisticated AI experience with the release of the Gemini models. It is important to remember that OnePlus and OPPO already power the Trinity Engine, which makes using phones incredibly smooth, and use AI and computational mathematics to enhance mobile photography.

By 2024, more original equipment manufacturers should have AI capabilities on their products. This is probably going to help Google because OEMs will use Gemini as the foundation upon which to build their features.

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Meta Explores AI-Enabled Search Bar on Instagram



In an attempt to expand the user base for its generative AI-powered products, Meta is moving forward. The business is experimenting with inserting Meta AI into the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery, in addition to testing the chatbot Meta AI with users in nations like India on WhatsApp.

When you type a query into the search bar, Meta AI initiates a direct message (DM) exchange in which you can ask questions or respond to pre-programmed prompts. Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, pointed out that the prompt screen’s design is similar to the startup’s search screen.

Plus, it might make it easier for you to find fresh Instagram content. As demonstrated in a user-posted video on Threads, you can search for Reels related to a particular topic by tapping on a prompt such as “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels.”

Additionally, TechCrunch spoke with a few users who had the ability to instruct Meta AI to look for recommendations for Reels.

By using generative AI to surface new content from networks like Instagram, Meta hopes to go beyond text generation.

With TechCrunch, Meta verified the results of its Instagram AI experiment. But the company didn’t say whether or not it uses generative AI technology for search.

A Meta representative told TechCrunch, “We’re testing a range of our generative AI-powered experiences publicly in a limited capacity. They are under development in varying phases.”

There are a ton of posts available discussing Instagram search quality. It is therefore not surprising that Meta would want to enhance search through the use of generative AI.

Furthermore, Instagram should be easier to find than TikTok, according to Meta. In order to display results from Reddit and TikTok, Google unveiled a new perspectives feature last year. Instagram is developing a feature called “Visibility off Instagram” that could allow posts to appear in search engine results, according to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who made this discovery earlier this week on X.

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