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Artificial intelligence together with the new Microsoft Graph are poised to change the way we work. But what’s real and what’s just buzz? In this session, harmon.ie Co-founder and VP Product Strategy, David Lavenda uncovers the truth about AI in the workplace, as he details how to leverage AI to extract value from your SharePoint, Office 365, and now Microsoft 365 investments. The session includes a live demo of how the Microsoft Graph today helps your SharePoint-based information compliance initiatives.
This is what many people think of when they think of AI – this was certainly the original intention.
An anthropomorphic view of computer intelligence. Parts of this are still around – like virtual assistants. Siri anyone? But the cyborg is still not a reality today; nor is it on the horizon
The visions of AI never panned out though there were several periods of ups and downs as scientists thought there was a breakthrough. Progress has been slow for a variety of reasons – looking at these reasons will help us understand why there has been a renaissance in the world of AI – first trying to mimic human behavior is much more complicated than first thought – trying to isolate patterns that could be replicated is pretty tough.
Moreover, what scientists discovered is that one way to copy people is to analyze huge amounts of behavior examples and look for patterns to replicate. And that is exactly what we didn’t have. These types of problems require having lots of data examples, but memory storage was expensive. It required the ability to crunch these numbers, by processing power was expensive. It required high speed access to the data, which naturally exists in many different places. But networking bandwidth was expensive.
So what is real and what is just noise? Does artificial intelligence have a play or is this just market-speak?
The big problem today in business is information overload.
You have to toggle from one app screen to the next to see the information, and when you get there, the information is not organized in way where you can easily make sense of it. It’s disconnected.
The bottom line is that the information you need to do your job is too disconnected to see the big picture. It’s hard to focus on getting work done, because we busy trying to put the pieces together. It’s a well-known experience called the ‘IT productivity paradox.’ Despite the addition of all this new information technology, we aren’t getting any more productive, because we aren’t able to use it well.
Of course, you are also using many apps besides Office 365. So the picture is much more complicated than even what I have described here. Plus, for each new app, you have a different login and password. That adds a whole new layer of complexity to getting work done.
But let’s stick to the Microsoft world for now.
What do people do in this Microsoft world of too many apps with disconnected information?
How do you know which tool to use? Do you need to calculate how old the person you are talking to? How urgent the need is? This doesn’t make sense. You just create more silos.
Static tools are always out of date and not coordinated. They aren’t very useful because they are static. You need tools that are dynamic and are always learning. That’s the only way to deal with information overload.
AI in the form of NLP and machine learning offer some real relief, but before we look at those – there is a new entrant to the AI arena that is changing the information overload landscape
A brand new technology that is creating a veritable earthquake in AI is the network graph. The graph is (not a new) construct for evaluating and maintaining relationships between network elements – things that interest us. Organizing information in a graph rather than in tabular form creates a new dimension for how we can look at related information in meaningful ways. Before, we had relational databases, in which we had to define relationships between elements a priori; the graph enables us to easily map multi-dimensional elationships between elements and gauge the strength of their connections.
What’s new is a new generation of affordable graph databases that make it practical to collect and store information as a graph. Microsoft is the first company to exploit this technology on a big scale to change the way we can use information to intelligently provide insightful recommendations to people. Let’s take a look at a few examples of what the graph can do.
People don’t think in terms of apps. They think in terms of ideas and associations. This is rooted in psychology, originally in Greek times, but raised by Donald Hebb in the 1940s.
The Microsoft Graph is extensible – harmon.ie was one of the first companies to demonstrate integration at Ignite; only one of two companies selected to present a Microsoft-Graph based solution.
Here is an example of extracting intelligence from text in an email message for example. Another example is Siri voice recognition. This is important because, as we will, it provides a mechanism for extracting knowledge from written or spoken text.
All these factors determine how important a topic is. A system like this should present the most important
Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize Office 365-Based Collaboration & Compliance: Are You Ready?
Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize Office
365-Based Collaboration & Compliance
Are You Ready?
David Lavenda, VP Product Strategy
What’s the real
problem that AI
The Microsoft Graph
“AI-first Search and Discovery”
The Microsoft Graph
“The most strategic data
asset for each of you.”
“It’s not about individual
tools; it’s about creating
that next platform for you
to be able to drive your
digital transformation. “
The Microsoft Graph
AI-first Search and Discovery
• One set of APIs for all Office 365 apps
• Maintains dynamic* relationships
between people and ‘items,’ e.g.:
- How ‘close’ are colleagues to me?
- “In which emails am I mentioned?”
• Uncovers insights, e.g.:
- “What ‘items’ are trending around me>
*AI helps build the graph
The Collage Graph
Organizes information by topics,
the way the brain works
Freedom of Information
• Maintains relationships
between people, artifacts,
• Maintains relationships for
Microsoft and non-Microsoft
• Topic is the key to defining the
context of ‘what is important
and relevant to me, now.’
The Collage Graph
The Collage GraphMicrosoft Graph
Gateway to the AI-powered
Freedom of Information Information ComplianceOmega ProjectPraxis Corporation
Surface Important Topics (NLP)
Identify important topics in email or document text
Topics Help Answer Important Questions
Smart Notifications & Analytics
The email template for
the Praxis Corp user
survey was completed
by 20 people this week
A colleague just
logged a trouble
ticket regarding the
‘Praxis Corp’ pilot
A salesperson just increased
the size of the ‘Praxis Corp’
opportunity in Salesforce
What should I
be focusing on
12 users from Praxis Corp
just installed our free product
• Topics - the key to dealing with Information Overload in the
- Too many apps
- Disconnected information
• The Graph – “the most strategic data asset for each of you”
• AI can help workers focus on what’s most important through:
- Smart notifications
- Graph-based analytics