What I’d like to see Microsoft do with AI/ML


Paul’s article this morning about advertising in Windows and how dumb it can be (e.g. serving Office 365 ads to people who already subscribe) reminded me of something I’ve been wishing Microsoft would do: use some of that telemetry and their AI/ML capabilities in the service of helping me be more productive. How about analyzing the apps and services I use (and how I use them) to surface some really deep and helpful tips and tricks? Analyze what I’m already doing and then show me how I can do it better.

-“I see that you use a number of keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint but always use the mouse to click through the toolbar for XYZ. Did you know you can use ____ keyboard shortcut to complete this action?” Or “I see you’ve used this Excel tool 100 times in the past month; I’ve gone ahead and pinned that to your toolbar for easier access. Would you like to keep it there or shall I delete it for you?” Or “I see you get the same question a lot, and you tend to answer it the same way. I’ve created a smart reply option for you.” The list goes on and on. As a long-time user of Office there are probably hundreds of ways I could do things more efficiently but just haven’t bothered to learn. It would be nice if Microsoft started doing some of this for me.

Comments (2)

2 responses to “What I’d like to see Microsoft do with AI/ML”

  1. karlinhigh

    As a beginner Excel user on Office 2000, I actually learned quite a bit from Clippy and friends, the office assistants. Sorta cute, I thought. Much later I learned of people who had already mastered Excel when those critters came out, and hated them with a passion. I think machine learning suggestions could be a good feature if done correctly. As opposed to ripping out powerful features because "it was more than most people needed anyway." Somewhere there's an XKCD of Google discontinuing all their services but the DNS server "to better focus on our core mission."