Accounting for taste: Microsoft demos future Excel feature
- Published: 27/03/2013 at 01:44 PM
- Online news:
Microsoft is developing natural language understanding and voice recognition for its Excel spreadsheet application.
Excel, Office 2010 Microsoft is developing natural language understanding and voice recognition for its Excel spreadsheet application.
Soon users will be able to ask the program a direct question and get an equally direct answer. It means that rather than fiddle with columns, rows and filters or have an inside-out knowledge of AutoSums and formulae, a person using the application could simply type "which was the best month?" or "Who is owed the most money?" and the application will find the right result.
Called Analyze for Excel, Microsoft researchers are currently working on turning the feature into a reality. But, according to a demonstration at the company's recent TechFest, which was held behind closed doors, this is just the beginning. The video also reveals that typed instructions is just the first step. Once work on Analyze for Excel has been completed, the feature is going to be developed for voice commands and inputs.
The video was discovered and posted by Stephen Chapman and published in his MSFTKitchen blog.
Microsoft Excel isn't the sort of application that gets most people excited. But Microsoft's work to develop natural language understanding is one of the final barriers to removing the computer interface from computing. Understanding real language the way that real people speak it is key to the future of technological change and if a company as powerful as Microsoft is investing so heavily in it, expect the feature to be rolled out to other applications, apps and services.
About the author
- Writer: AFP Relax News
Position: News agency