Office 2016 Insider update brings machine learning 'Insights' feature to Excel

Microsoft has started rolling out a new Insider Fast ring update to Office 2016 for Windows. And while there aren't a ton of changes included, the update does bring the first look at a machine learning-powered feature for Excel that Microsoft teased at a recent AI-focused event.

Called "Insights," the feature relies on machine learning to help seek out and highlight patterns. This can help identify trends, outliers, and other "useful visualizations," Microsoft says. Excel has also picked up the ability to deselect cells within a selected range. And outside of Excel, Outlook will now load group conversations even faster, Microsoft says. There are no major new features included with this build for PowerPoint or Word.

According to Microsoft, Excel Insights will be rolling out gradually to Office 365 subscribers enrolled in the Insider Fast ring. That means not everyone will see the feature right away, but it should open up to more people in the coming weeks.

If you're a Fast ring Office Insider, you should be able to update your Office 2016 apps to version 1801 (Build 8911.2016) now. You can manually update by opening an Office app and heading to File > Account > Update > Update Now.

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