You’d think that collaborative chatting programs like Slack or Teams wouldn’t need too many bells and whistles in order to be effective tools. Microsoft would beg to differ. The new Teams Premium tier not only includes the usual unlimited messages and better organizational tools, it’s adding exclusive powers enabled by OpenAI’s GPT 3.5 language model. The new tier will be $10 per month per user starting on June 30th, but you can get a cheaper preview for $7 until then.
What does the fancy AI do? It’s mostly one headline feature, “intelligent recap.” This tool can “watch” meetings with Teams’ video feature and automatically generate meeting notes and recommended tasks, as well as a full transcription of what’s spoken in the meeting and by whom. It’ll also generate automatic chapter divides for recorded meetings, though at launch it only works if you use PowerPoint Live — which seems like something you could do without resorting to prodigious AI number-crunching.
Premium users will also be able to apply watermarks to Teams video and select which participants can record and which cannot, combining with sensitivity labels to create a larger focus on privacy and security. Less notable additions include expanded webinar tools and more robust alerts for meetings.
As noted by The Verge, the new Premium tier is also stealing some features away from the previous paid tier ($4 per user per month). Live translations for captions in 40 languages will remain on the bottom tier for the next 60 days, but will then be exclusive to Premium. Company-wide custom backgrounds and virtual appointments are also on the chopping block for less lucrative users.
GPT-powered additions to Teams are only the latest in the company’s wave of AI-infused tools. Microsoft’s Designer program uses extensive AI-generated art for publishing, and the company has been experimenting with ChatGPT in its Bing browser, among other pushes. Seeing all of these AI-powered additions to Microsoft software is a reminder of some of its less people-friendly actions as of late, like hosting an exclusive Sting concert for executives just a few hours before announcing 10,000 job cuts.