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How to make a great machine assistant. Microsoft's way.


PowerPoint Designer, a feature that lives in the current version of the software. Each time you create a new slide, Designer is invisibly scanning your content, trying to figure out better ways to make that content shine based on millions of other PowerPoint presentations. – Fast Company’s material on how Microsoft studied the work of live assistants in order to work out the principle of creating a good virtual assistant.

“To study that dynamic, we started interviewing real assistants, asking them to reflect on their relationships and how their tasks evolved over time,” explains Ronette Lawrence, Microsoft’s senior director for product planning and research.

“The opposite would be overload, giving people all these amazing capabilities at once that would still have a 30% probably of being wrong,” says Friedman. “Those models don’t have pacing that builds to high-confidence recommendations, then making a trust leap. We’re trying to pace things and work into a relationship, because you have to mirror how human relationships are built.”

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