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Naomi Moneypenny demystifies Microsoft's Project Cortex at KMWorld Connect 2020

At KMWorld Connect 2020, Naomi Moneypenny, director, content services and insights, Microsoft, explained the benefits of Project Cortex. Critical to Microsoft's vision is a combination of people and AI working together. "We all love magic, but we don't trust magic," she said. For AI and machine learning to be useful, there has to be trust.

Project Cortex, announced in November 2019, was the first new service introduced in Microsoft 365 since the launch of Teams with the purpose of empowering people with knowledge and expertise in the apps they use every day. It uses AI to create a knowledge network that reasons over an organization's data and automatically organizes it into shared topics like projects and customers.

Moneypenny's KMWorld Connect 2020 session explored the learnings from Microsoft's customer preview program, demonstrated the latest in tooling to support a culture of knowledge sharing and productivity, and provided information about Microsoft's vision.

Project Cortex applies AI to automatically organize your content, and delivers innovative experiences—topic cards, topic pages and knowledge centers—in Office, Outlook and Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint Syntex, the first product from Project Cortex, uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge. You can train Syntex to understand content like you do, to recognize key information, and to tag content automatically—helping you improve knowledge discovery and accelerate processes.

The idea is to enable people with AI, said Moneypenny. SharePoint Syntex, she said, provides content services that work the way people do.

KMWorld Connect, November 16-19, and its co-located events, covers future-focused strategies, technologies, and tools to help organizations transform for positive outcomes.

Project Cortex consists of knowledge and discovery capabilities along with SharePoint Syntex for processing, enabled by Microsoft Graph and AI technologies, as well as additional Microsoft Graph content connectors to connect to additional third-party business-critical repositories.

In designing Project Cortex, Microsoft did research with its own customers as well as non-customers to determine what they had problems with, and identified the need to empower people by taking things that they don’t want to do such as records management and compliance tasks, and make those processes more efficient so they can take higher level responsibilities. In the research, customers and non-customers often identified problem areas in content services and content governance, including

  • Search challenges degrade individual productivity and team effectiveness.
  • There are knowledge drains when people leave the organization.
  • There are disconnected silos across LOBs and legacy systems.
  • The tacit knowledge and expertise of individuals and communities within the organization is untapped.

According to Moneypenny, SharePoint Syntex provides content services that work the way people do with content understanding, content processing, and content compliance. It offers:

  • Content services that work the way people do, enabling content understanding to create no-code AI models that capture expertise to classify and extract information to automatically apply metadata for knowledge discovery and reuse.
  • Content processing to automate capture, ingestion and categorization of content and setramline content centric processes using Power Automate.
  • Knowledge discovery to discovery knowledge in the apps you use every day through topic cards and allows you to discover topics in Microsoft Search.

Replays of KMWorld Connect webinars will be made available for on-demand viewing.

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