Microsoft Teams will soon basically write your chat replies for you

Teams Group Chat
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Ahead of the start of the new school year, Microsoft has revealed that it is currently working on a new feature for Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) that will make it easier for teachers and faculty to communicate over chat.

Back in May the company announced a total of 35 new features (opens in new tab) for its video conferencing (opens in new tab) and collaboration software (opens in new tab) for educators to commemorate Teacher Appreciation Day. 

Designed to make remote learning easier for both students and teachers, these updates include the ability to add images, content form other documents, shapes and even stickers to Microsoft's Whiteboard web client and Whiteboard Teams app. Microsoft also announced that support for its large gallery view (opens in new tab) with up to 49 people and Together Mode would both be coming to Teams for Education as well as automatic transcripts (opens in new tab).

However, the software giant isn't done adding new features to Teams to help educators according to a new post (opens in new tab) on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap.

Suggested replies

While business users working from home (opens in new tab) have been able to use suggested replies to quickly answer questions in a Teams chat from the beginning of last year, educators haven't been able to test out this new feature.

That will change in July though when Microsoft rolls out suggested replies in Teams for Education to both teachers and faculty. The feature is currently in development for Teams for iOS and Android though it could come to the software's desktop apps at a later date.

For those unfamiliar, suggested replies (opens in new tab) uses assistive AI (opens in new tab) to create three recommended responses based on the context of a chat. So let's say a teacher wants to ask the rest of their grade level if they'll be attending a meeting in Teams, using this feature they'll be able to quickly give a yes, no or maybe without having to type out their own response.

It's worth noting that suggested replies will be enabled by default for teachers and faculty only when it becomes available next month. The feature will be completely disabled for students who will need to come up with replies to questions on their own.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.