#27: How Facial Recognition Can Power Up Your Video Library

In this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

>An amazing new feature from Microsoft Streams

>How can AI power up your Teams meetings?


In this episode of the Power Up Project, we’re talking about Microsoft Stream introducing facial detection and automatic transcription.

Hey, welcome back to the Power Up Project. I’m your host for this episode, Ben Love. And today we’re going to be talking about one of the Microsoft products that we’ve mentioned before, which is Microsoft Stream. It’s kind of like a private organisational YouTube, if you will, where you can upload your videos. But specifically we’re going to be talking a bit about some amazing new features that Microsoft have brought to Stream where they’re really bringing the power of a lot of their artificial intelligence and machine learning abilities to bear on the Microsoft Stream products. Now, the good thing is of course you don’t need to worry about it being AI and machine learning and all of this jargony stuff. All you need to know is that there are these great new features in Microsoft Stream. So let’s get started on that.

There’s a couple of little things that I think are really powerful here, but I’m kind of AI stuff, so I’m going to touch on these other ones first. The first thing is that you can watch videos in Microsoft Stream on the go, that is on your mobile device, while you’re offline. Now this is fantastic. So, that means that there is a little caching feature building in there so that your device can actually pre-download some of these videos for you so that if you’re sitting on the plane or your bandwidth is rubbish, wherever you happen to be travelling, you can still get access to those videos and watch those videos. Now this could be particularly useful as well combined with another excellent little feature that’s come through, which is when you use Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings, for example, video conferencing meetings and we’re all using Teams, right? Because, it really is the big thing at the moment. It really is where Microsoft is putting a lot of their focus. It is also the thing that’s going to be replacing Skype as well, and that particular timeline is accelerating. So, if you do use Skype for some of these things and you haven’t yet had a look at Teams head on over to have a look at Teams, it’s something you really need to be doing.

So of course, given that we’re all conducting our video meetings and our conference calls using Teams these days, one of the powerful features of that is that we can record the meeting. So, just click on the record button in our meeting there and Teams will automatically capture what happens there, the video, the audio, so on and so forth. But the good thing now is what it then does with that video recording, because what it does now is it automatically puts it into Stream. It automatically puts it into your Microsoft Stream video library. That means that it can then be made available to anybody on your team who happened to miss the meeting. There’s always somebody isn’t there, there’s somebody who says they’re going to be at the meeting, but then now they, I don’t know, they call in sick, which is fine, or they get called out on an important client meeting or you know what? They just don’t turn up. We’ve certainly had that in the past. So at least this way the meeting is automatically recorded, automatically uploaded into your Microsoft Stream video library for that person to catch up on. And of course now they can also catch up on it on their mobile device and even offline, which I think is pretty cool.

So let’s move on to some cool new AI powered features though. The first one is facial detection. Now this is a bit of AI that Microsoft to bringing to bear on Stream videos, which they’re really using for what they call speaker timelines. So what that does is it means that the video will be annotated with information about which speaker, as in which person is speaking when. And, it does that by using this facial detection technology just to identify that there are different faces speaking and whose turn is who or which particular face is speaking at a particular point in time. Now this is particularly powerful because if you want to search through all of your video libraries or if you want to open a particular video and skip to just the point where a particular person is speaking, then with this annotation put in place, you can now do that. And that falls in nicely too with the next cool bit of tech they’ve brought in, which is speech to text auto transcription. So simply as it sounds, Stream will now automatically provide a written transcript of everything that is said during the video recording.

So again, this makes the video infinitely more searchable. So, as you develop a larger library of videos within Stream, this will give you more power in searching through those videos, across those videos I guess, to find the one you’re looking for. Or if you’re drilling down into a specific video, but you want to find the point in that video where a certain topic is discussed. Again, you can search through this automatic transcription to find the particular time code and the particular place in that video where that topic is discussed. So there’s some great new features that have been brought to Microsoft Stream there, brought to your own private little YouTube, I guess little video library for your business. It is a very powerful tool, it works very, very well. Either on the desktop environment or on the mobile App and now with these new features that have been brought in, it means that all of that content that you’ve got in there is infinitely more searchable when you do want to go back and find that particular piece you’re after.

Now here at Grassroots IT we use Stream a lot. We record a lot of our internal meetings. We record training materials, we record a whole pile of those things there and that’s how we get a huge amount of value out of this particular tool. I’d love to hear how you’re using video in your business, particularly if you’re using Microsoft Stream. And if you have had a look at these new features that they’ve got in there, such as the speech to text auto transcription, I would love to hear how valuable you’re finding those, if they are adding any value at all, and if so, how you’re using them.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Power Up Project brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT. Please leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts and until next time keep powering up.

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