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March developments

Microsoft Teams will introduce exciting new features to its online meetings. Teams is developing an improved version that simplifies several points during a video call. The upcoming update, currently referred to as ‘mixed grid view in meetings’, will place all meeting participants in a uniform 16:9 aspect ratio for a more organised and consistent meeting experience. This change aims to reduce chaos and create a smoother video conferencing environment.

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Intelligent Recap is an AI-powered feature that automatically generates chapters in meeting recordings by using PowerPoint Live to segment the meeting into sections based on the presentation content. Microsoft Teams had the opportunity to try out this feature, and while it was not without flaws, it did provide a helpful starting point. Overall, Intelligent Recap shows promise to streamline a meeting review process and make it easier to locate specific sections within a recording. Teams admins can now let Teams Premium users add a watermark to their shared screens or videos during a meeting. The watermark shows the email address of the meeting organiser and keeps any confidential information secure. In virtual meetings, presenters have the option to join early and chat with each other in a virtual green room while preparing for the event. During this time, the attendees are in the lobby, but the presenters can still interact with them through Q&A or chat.

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(Source: Microsoft)

With AI-powered features, Microsoft Teams provides users with the ability to improve their appearance during video calls by adding backgrounds and softening their video feed. Now, Microsoft Teams is taking things up a notch by introducing video filters. These filters allow users to eliminate any unwanted disturbances during meetings and exhibit their personality by incorporating visual effects such as changing the shade of the video or adding animated frames and styles to their video feed. The new Close Caption option in PowerPoint Live is all about helping individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, struggle to process audio information, face language barriers, or participate in a meeting in a noisy environment understand audio content that is transmitted. At any point in a video that contains a subtitled document, meeting participants can choose to enable subtitles.

Google Meet has modified the user interface of its calendar app to include new location suggestions that can help hybrid employees schedule appropriate meetings with less hassle. Instead of typing a location name, users are presented with options based on their recent locations, speeding up meeting arrangements. This feature complements earlier updates that allowed Google Workspace to support working locations, where an organisation may operate multiple offices or sites.

Starting now, participants in Zoom meetings and webinars have the option to enable the automatic display of subtitles, as long as they are available in the meeting or webinar, via the client’s accessibility settings. From this point forward, users of Zoom meetings and webinars can activate the feature to automatically display subtitles on their screen. This feature can be accessed through the client’s accessibility settings, provided the meeting or webinar has available subtitles.

The arrangement of video tiles in Gallery view can be customised by hosts, who have various sorting options such as sorting by first or last name or entry time, in both ascending and descending order. However, this feature needs to be activated by the administrator in the web settings.

Zoom and OpenAI announce partnership

Zoom has partnered with OpenAI to integrate artificial intelligence into its platform in order to increase efficiency and productivity for workers. The launch of Zoom IQ is planned for April but only selected Zoom users will have access to its new features. This collaboration includes the use of OpenAI’s generative tool, ChatGPT, through Zoom IQ, which currently functions as a digital assistant for summarising meeting recordings. The abilities of Zoom IQ can simplify your daily schedule. For instance, if a colleague joins a Zoom meeting late, they can ask Zoom IQ to provide a real-time summary of what they have missed. If a meeting requires a brainstorming session, Zoom IQ has it covered with its ability to craft a whiteboard experience using text cues. Additionally, Team Chat does more than just offer prompt suggestions, it also recommends action points for ownership to take. Following the completion of the meeting, Zoom IQ will summarise it and send a recap to Zoom Team Chat.

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(Source: Zoom)


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Our ConfTech Help desk provides countries and organisations with immediate advice on how to organise and run online meetings and events. Get in touch with us at conftech@diplomacy.edu.

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