Finding the right part of a work meeting to listen to if you miss a call is set to get a whole lot easier thanks to a new Microsoft Teams update.
The video conferencing service is officially rolling out a tool which uses AI to generate not just meeting notes, but also suggested follow-up actions, alongside timeline markers so you can skip to the most relevant part of a call instantly.
First announced back in October 2022 solely for Microsoft Teams Premium, the Intelligent Recap feature is now available for all users in the US, with EU users set to receive it in August 2023.
Microsoft Teams GPT notes
“Collaboration is critical for organizations to achieve their goals – and for many of us, at the very heart of what we do,” noted Microsoft’s Meera Ajam in a blog post announcing the launch.
“But the exponential growth of meetings and information in recent years can make it hard. Since February 2020, people are in 3x more Teams meetings and calls per week. Meeting overload, fragmented conversations, and the added coordination burden from hybrid work all make getting – and staying – on the same page as a team challenging.”
The new tool will be found in a tab in Microsoft Teams calendar and chat, where users will find a full recording of the call noting exactly who spoke when, alongside any shared files or content, with notes and a full transcript displayed on the side.
Also included are personalized timeline markers, which note exactly when your name was mentioned, and in what context, as well as when a screen was shared and when you joined or left a meeting.
Microsoft also noted that it would soon be releasing automatically generated “chapters”, which will divide the meeting into sections, making it easy to select and jump to the most relevant section, as well as meeting topics that allow users to jump to a point in the meeting when a certain topic was discussed.
Users will need to be part of an organization with a Microsoft Teams Premium license, and will need to enable meeting transcription and meeting recording.
Analysis: a double-edged AI sword?
Microsoft has been a huge backer of AI, and GPT in particular, for most of 2023, so seeing it come to the fore more prominently for Teams is no surprise.
On the face of it, this looks like an incredibly useful tool, especially if your meetings drag on for over an hour, letting you pinpoint exactly what was said where, making sure no actions get missed.
But is there too much of a temptation to switch off during a meeting (or even skip it entirely) knowing that AI will pick up the slack?
Much like the question of whether people will genuinely use the awful Microsoft Teams avatars the company seems so excited to push, I guess only time will tell.