Microsoft Teams Premium gets a GPT boost via OpenAI
If you’re not yet using ChatGPT to process information and write, you’ll soon be able to try it out with Microsoft 365’s Teams Premium subscription.
Microsoft insists that Teams Premium, now available, comes with artificial intelligence features such as intelligent meeting recap, which are powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 Large Language Model (LLM) . A model that is the origin of the ChatGPT chatbot, and which is available to developers through the APIs of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service.
“Teams Premium brings the great language models powered by OpenAI GPT-3.5, to make meetings more intelligent, personalized and protected, whether they are one-on-one meetings, large meetings, virtual appointments or webinars” , says Microsoft.
Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licenses are required for Teams Premium subscription
Microsoft is offering a discounted introductory price of $7 per month for the Teams Premium subscription. This price is valid for the entire duration of the initial subscription (except for certain monthly subscriptions and certain monthly subscriptions that are billed annually over three years). The offer will end on June 30, 2023, when the subscription will revert to the standard price of $10 per month per user.
Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licenses, such as E3 and E5, are required for the Teams Premium subscription. A recent Microsoft survey of 4,500 employees shows high demand for AI tools to automate mundane tasks. So it could be that Teams users are pressuring employers to sign up for the subscription.
Microsoft says Teams Premium eliminates the need for third-party add-ons that some professionals buy to enhance webinars, virtual appointments, and meetings.
Using AI in Notes
The smart recap feature is one of the first Teams Premium AI features announced by Microsoft. But other capabilities that ChatGPT has already demonstrated could be coming. This ranges from answering complex questions, to writing text, to solving questions about programming.
The automatic chaptering of meetings recorded with PowerPoint Live is another of the possibilities that could be offered Teams Premium. For Teams itself, a smart recap already does that job from meeting transcripts. Custom timeline markers help catch up on missed meeting minutes by showing when the user joined or left the meeting. They also show when the user’s name was mentioned, when a screen was shared, who spoke in a meeting, and when the user spoke during the meeting.
GPT-3.5 is also the basis for Teams Premium’s AI-generated notes, which create key points and takeaways captured during a meeting. The idea is that users can focus on the meeting rather than taking notes.
Mass deployment in Microsoft products
Microsoft has, however, indicated that the Smart Summarization capabilities will not be available until the second quarter of 2023.
Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI is to gradually revamp its Microsoft 365/Office 365, Azure and Copilot services. Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said last month that Microsoft will “embed AI into every layer of the stack” of its services and software.
Microsoft is also reportedly testing ChatGPT to answer some questions from Bing to compete with Google in Internet search. Google for its part is also said to be testing internal responses to ChatGPT for Google Search.
Other Teams Premium AI features that will be available in mid-February include live translations, “together” mode scenes, and meeting templates for IT admins. Meeting protection, watermarking to deter content leaks, and limiting who can record are also provided.
Teams: 280 million monthly active users
Teams Virtual Appointments has been in preview since October and allows external attendees to join a virtual meeting room via message.
Microsoft said this month it saw “strong interest” in Teams Premium. The company wants to grow its revenue with this service to offset slowing cloud revenue (including Azure and Office 365) and declining Windows OEM revenue. This change comes as growth in the number of Teams users is also slowing.
Teams now has 280 million monthly active users, up from 270 million monthly active users in January 2022. Thanks to the pandemic, the number of Teams users more than tripled between 2020 and 2021, from 44 million to daily active users in March 2020 to 145 million daily active users in April 2021.