During its annual Ignite conference, Microsoft previewed a new Office 365 service which uses advanced AI to deliver greater insights and expertise to businesses using data gleaned from their own content.
The software giant's new knowledge-management service is codenamed 'Project Cortex” and it is also the first new service in Microsoft 365 since the launch of Microsoft Teams in 2017. The goal of Project Cortex is to help organize businesses' content that is accessible in SharePoint and make it available to users in a proactive way.
According to Microsoft, Project Cortex can turn customers' content into “an interactive knowledge repository”. The service is able to ingest content in a number of ways including analyzing documents and contacts but subject-matter experts can also teach the system how to better understand less structured content including information gathered from conversations, meetings and videos.
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New topic pages and knowledge centers will be created and updated by Project Cortex and these will essentially act like wikis for organizations. Topic cards will be available to Microsoft users in Outlook, Teams and in Office.
An updated Managed Metadata Service lies at the heart of Project Cortex and allows for tagging across Microsoft 365. The service can also connect to third-party repositories using the new Microsoft Search connectors which are already available for Windows File Share, ServiceNow, SQL Database, Intranet Websites, MediaWiki, Azure Data Lake Gen2, Salesforce and more.
Back in 2017, officials from Microsoft said that they were planning to use a personalized People search in SharePoint, powered by the Microsoft Graph programming interface, to bring the knowledge management capabilities the company had planned for its canceled Infopedia portal to the service.
While Infopedia may have been canceled, Microsoft's vision to deliver a knowledge-management capability in SharePoint appears to have transferred over to Project Cortex.
The service is currently in private preview but the company has announced that it will add some new customers who apply directly via the Project Cortex Resource Center.
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