Microsoft has announced the launch of an AI-powered live transcription tool for Teams, which provides a written record of the spoken text that occurs during a meeting.
How It Works
The live transcription tool identifies each speaker, automatically captures what the speaker says in real-time and makes the transcript available during and after the meeting. It uses AI-based Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology to identify and transcribe what is being said by the meeting participants. The technology is able to use a meeting’s invitation, participant names, attachments, and more to improve its accuracy and recognise meeting-specific jargon for each transcript automatically, without any human involvement.
Using Live Transcription
To use the tool, the tenant admin must turn on the ‘Allow Transcription’ policy to enable the meeting organizer/presenter to start a meeting transcription. Participants are notified that live transcription is on and can choose to hide it from their meeting view with a click. If attendees choose not to be identified, they can also turn off speaker attribution in their profile settings. The transcripts are displayed to meeting participants in a column on one side of the screen.
How Accurate is the Tool?
Whilst Microsoft is proud of the development of the live transcription tool, the company does point out that it is not guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate and “should not be relied upon in a life-altering situation”.
After each meeting, the saved transcript is made available for reference and download in Teams for desktop and web, in the meeting event in Teams’ calendar, and through the transcript tile in the chat. The live transcription files are stored in the meeting organizer’s Exchange Online account and only the organiser and tenant admin have permissions to delete it.
Privacy and Security
Microsoft states that no-one at Microsoft can see a meeting’s content, the models are automatically deleted immediately after each meeting and Microsoft doesn’t use or store this data for improving its own AI.
Who Has Access to the New Tool?
The live transcription with speaker attribution tool is available for scheduled Microsoft Teams meetings (in U.S. English) to public cloud customers with licenses for Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium SKUs.
What Does This Mean for My Business?
The live transcript tool is likely to deliver value to business users in terms of helping users to either follow meetings more easily, catch up on meeting content (e.g., if late for the meeting or double-booked), helping multi-tasking (and enabling ‘zoning out’), as well as being an extra accessibility feature.
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