Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant will be getting some new health-based skills in the future, along with some new AI features for the company's Office 365 apps.


Microsoft showed off some of those features during its Innovation keynote at the Ignite conference today in Atlanta. Cortana team member Laura Jones showed how the assistant can pull data from sources like Microsoft Health about a person's exercises and eating habits. It can then send out alerts if, for example, the person is eating too much fast food while traveling, or if their active minutes are going down compared to the average. There's no word on when these new health-based alerts from Cortana will be added.

Microsoft also listed some of the new AI features that will be added to Office 365 apps:

  • Tap in Word and Outlook, which uses the Microsoft Graph to make it easier to incorporate content from existing documents within your organization into your own documents and emails.
  • Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway provides curated outlines for any topic, including text and images, that can be used as a starting point to build presentations.
  • Maps, a new chart type in Excel powered by Bing Maps, transforms geographic data into high-fidelity visualization

Microsoft has been pushing for more machine learning and AI-based features in its products in the past several months, and this is just the latest example of that.