Microsoft 365 can now host live events, and the new service comes equipped with AI-powered features such as facial recognition of attendees and autonomous speech-to-text conversion so participants can search video transcripts.

Once an event is over, employees can skim video not just using timestamps or specific words, but by scanning through the faces of participants.

Employees watching an event can chime in with questions and comments during a meeting through the dedicated events page. Since live events can be scheduled and shared ahead of time, questions and comments can be posted before and after events as well.

First introduced last year, Microsoft 365 brings together a range of popular productivity services from Microsoft including Office 365, Windows 10, and enhanced security for enterprise customers.

A broad range of enterprise companies have announced plans to enter the meeting transcription space in recent months, including Cisco and the startup Voicera, which closed a funding round in May in part with support from Microsoft Ventures. Zoom introduced transcripts for video conferences last September.

Transcriptions don’t just give a word-for-word account of what was said in a meeting. They can be used to do things like automatically assign tasks or analyze company culture based on the kind of language people use.

Many other features are harnessed as well to make live events with 365 distinct from your average group video chat, such as blurring the background, splitting a screen between a presenter and Power Point presentation, and turning on automatic Do Not Disturb mode during events…

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