Microsoft Adds OpenAI for Meeting Notes and Transcription to Teams
That didn't take long...
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, was asked in early January at an interview during the World Economic Forum about the company’s plans for working with OpenAI’s technologies. He offered a long answer about Azure services and training AI models in the cloud and concluded by saying:
Every product at Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product.
Teams is Microsoft’s online conferencing solution comparable to Zoom, with the added benefit of integrating with Office productivity tools. The stripped-down package, which is probably sufficient for most companies, costs about $50 per year. The OpenAI-related announcement is part of the launch of the new Teams Premium package that includes a number of new features for an additional $120 annually. A blog post by Microsoft’s Nicole Herkowitz said:
“Built on the familiar, all-in-one collaborative experience of Microsoft Teams, Teams Premium brings the latest technologies, including Large Language Models powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, to make meetings more intelligent, personalized, and protected—whether it’s one-on-one, large meetings, virtual appointments, or webinars…
“There’s a ton of time-consuming administrative work during meetings, like taking notes, figuring out important takeaways, and capturing the right action items and owners.
“That’s why Teams is infusing AI throughout the meeting experience, helping you be more productive in new ways. With intelligent recap in Teams premium, you’ll get automatically generated meeting notes, recommended tasks, and personalized highlights to help you get the information most important to you, even if you miss the meeting.”
Voicebot’s Eric Schwartz summarized this in more practical terms saying the new feature:
“[GPT-3 technology] acts like an AI secretary for Teams meetings, similar to Otter.ai, Airgram, or Supernormal. The AI automatically transcribes and summarizes the conversation, pulling out key comments and offering a tentative schedule of future events and action items based on the discussion. The Microsoft Teams recap page will include a recap of the meeting, with speakers marked in the transcript and the whole thing divided into chapters by the AI and applicable to PowerPoint Live meeting recordings as well as the standard meeting format.”
This feature related to PowerPoint Live is very interesting. When making a presentation using PowerPoint Live, the notes will be associated with the slides so you can see the comments as they related to the content presented on the screen. Teams Premium also enables real-time captioning translation in 40 languages. Microsoft also said a new feature is planned to segment the comments by the speaker in the meeting notes, a term typically referred to as diarization.
Feature and Revenue Bonanza?
You can begin to see why Microsoft was willing to spend a rumored $10 billion for a 49% stake and effective control of OpenAI. It is enabling a feature bonanza for Teams, and that is just the start. Features with obvious applications in the Word, PowerPoint, and Bing solutions may be even more valuable to users.
We don’t know yet how well these features will work and what user adoption will look like. However, even modest adoption could be a very large windfall for Microsoft. The Premium package offers a decent reason to upgrade and pay significantly more than for the base service.
Microsoft said in 2022 that it had over 270 million monthly active users on Teams. If only 10% of those convert to Teams Premium, that will translate into $3.2 billion in new revenue just from that product line. That revenue will come with added costs, many of which will flow to OpenAI. But Microsoft now owns as much as 49% of OpenAI, and its rumored deal entitles it to as much as 70% of the company’s profits until it recoups its investment. Microsoft’s position in the generative AI market looks stronger every day.
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