Microsoft Inspire: AI & Machine Learning

After a tech-packed week at the Microsoft Inspire Conference in Washington DC, I’m currently sitting in Heathrow looking back through some of my notes. I thought I’d write another quick bonus blog from Microsoft Inspire about a key demo with a difference.

This stand out moment was back on Monday in Julia White’s presentation.

Having been the lead on Office 365, she’s now moved on to Azure.

The hot topics are ‘bots’, AI and machine learning.

She took us through a scenario – that’s actually been deployed – for an insurance company.

It probably loses something in translation from a live demo to a written description but I’ll do my best to summarise.

The system sits behind an online enquiry/renewal process and is driven by a ‘bot’ rather than a person.

The bot recognises language and, using a series of workflows, takes the customer through the process.

The scenario involved an existing customer, so the first thing was to log them into their account using multi-factor authentication.

That included facial recognition, so Julia took a selfie – and deliberately looked a little sad. The bot not only recognised her but also knew that she didn’t look happy and responded accordingly!

The bot also knew from CRM information that her daughter had now reached driving age, and asked if she should be added to the policy (presumably it would also recognise the look of horror at the cost of adding a teenager to an insurance policy?!)

The process continued with vehicle type recognition and confirmation, again from an uploaded image matched against a database of all vehicles and, of course, wrote all of the data back into Dynamics 365 for processing.

As I said, it was probably more impressive live, in spite of a few technical issues that are always a risk with any live demo, but it really was pretty impressive.

And more importantly it’s a real example of the application of bots, AI, automation and machine learning.

Anyway, that’s definitely all on Inspire for this week, and you’ll be pleased to know that there are no more double act videos! Although we are thinking about a regular new slot – The Two Stev/phens.

Has quite a ring to it.


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