Microsoft leans on A.I. to bring real-time closed-captioning to PowerPoint

touch optimized office apps windows 10 promising buggy universal powerpoint

Microsoft says it will leverage artificial intelligence (A.I.) in PowerPoint to break down barriers and help presenters communicate their messages to audiences. The A.I.-based tool will deliver real-time transcription or translation in PowerPoint slides as captions or subtitles.

“We are announcing a new A.I.-powered feature in PowerPoint that provides captions and subtitles for presentations in real time,” Microsoft said of the new feature in a blog post. “Now, anyone can present in one language, and have direct transcriptions appear immediately onscreen — either in the same language or in a different one.” The launch of the feature coincides with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

At launch, Microsoft claims that the A.I. tool will support 12 spoken languages to display captions or subtitles in any one of more than 60 supported languages. Presenters will be given the option to customize the size, placement, and appearance of the subtitles, and the company claims that speech recognition is adaptable based on the content, “for more accurate recognition of names and specialized terminology.”

Microsoft has been making a big push for better accessibility features in the workplace by using artificial intelligence, and the A.I.-powered tool for PowerPoint fits into the company’s vision for better collaboration. The real-time captions and subtitles in PowerPoint joins the company’s recently released initiatives to deliver transcriptions in Stream videos and make videos and photos searchable in OneDrive.

Earlier this year, at the company’s developer-focused Build conference, Microsoft also showed its vision of the conference room of the future by showcasing how colleagues speaking different languages or with disabilities can seamlessly participate in a conference call. Microsoft also announced its A.I. for Accessibility initiative at Build this year. As part of the company’s $25 million investment in that space, Microsoft hopes that developers will deliver more solutions that use A.I .to deliver real-time text-to-speech transcriptions and translations, object and people recognition, and more.

“A.I. can be a game changer for people with disabilities. Already, we’re witnessing this as people with disabilities expand their use of computers to hear, see, and reason with impressive accuracy,” Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, said in a blog post. Citing its research, Microsoft claims that only one in 10 people with disabilities around the world have access to assistive technology tools, and it believes that A.I.-driven solutions will help to make a broader impact in this space.

Smart Home

With new blueprints, Amazon empowers anyone to create Alexa skills in minutes

Amazon launched new tools called Skills Blueprints last year to empower more users to create and publish Alexa Skills and is now fine-tuning the tools, adding more customization as well as live and recorded audio.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Computing

Latest ‘Battlefield V’ update brings better performance to Nvidia RTX PCs

DLSS support is finally coming to Battlefield V thanks to an update that will arrive on February 12. DLSS will help boost game performance when real-time ray-tracing is enabled, even when the game is played at higher resolutions.
Home Theater

Samsung’s 2019 QLED TVs are now on sale. Here’s how much you can expect to pay

Samsung's lineup of new TVs were an impressive collection to behold when they made their first appearance at CES this year. Now, we have all of the details on the QLED 4K & 8K models, including features, sizes, availability, and price.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.