Ever since OpenOffice and then LibreOffice appeared as free alternatives to Microsoft Office$6.99 at Microsoft, the need to pay for access to a decent office suite has diminished. Microsoft responded by continuing to improve the feature set of Office, and now it is turning to artificial intelligence to make Word cleverly create to-do lists for you.
Office Insiders on the Mac have access to a new feature this week in the form of an intelligent and automatic to-do list generator. Microsoft used AI to track the little notes you add to a document that act as reminders for work that needs to be done. For example, if you write “TODO: finish this section” or “insert closing here” Word will turn them into to-do lists it tracks.
When you return to the document, Word will pop-up a to-do list it generated from the notes you made so it’s quick and easy to recall what needs doing. The system goes deeper than that, though, as Microsoft realizes a lot of documents are now collaborative efforts.
It may be the case that different people are required to complete tasks on the to-do list, so Microsoft also added mentions. If a co-worker should be involved, simply add their name using an @mention, for example, @Matthew Humphries would alert me with a notification and a “deep link.” Clicking the link would take me directly to the relevant part of the document where my attention is required.
That’s the functionality as it stands right now, but Microsoft is working to incorporate Microsoft Search features. For example, if an entry on the list mentions a chart, a future version of Word will be able to list all available charts and allow you to quickly pick one from the list without leaving the document.
For now, the AI to-do list feature is limited to Office Insiders (Fast) on the Mac, but Microsoft fully intends to roll it out to Office 365 subscribers on Windows, Mac, and the Web.
Source: PCMag | By Matthew Humphries | November 8, 2018 | https://www.pcmag.com/news/364858/microsoft-word-gets-intelligent-about-to-do-lists
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