Project Analyze, something amazing by Microsoft Research
Since I started blogging for the AmbassadorBase, I come in contact with a lot more Microsoft related content am I have to admit, that I'm really glad about that: Microsoft Research has a lot of really great projects :)
I recently found a video leak of a still unannounced project called Analyze, which will certainly revolutionize how you enter queries in Microsoft Excel:
With this project, Excel can be controlled using natural language input. In the video they use an Excel sheet with wages (base pay and overtime pay) and instead of writing some unnatural and rather complicated formula like =F1+G1, =F2+G2, …, you just enter "add the base pay and overtime pay" and it will automatically sum up the columns base pay and overtime pay.
This is a really simple example, but something like "add up the pay for the capital hill baristas", would actually sum up only pays for baristas – something which currently involves quite complex forumlae. It's even possible to just highlight cells, rows or columns that match certain conditions as well as generate charts.
I'm really impressed by this because I know how complex natural language recognition is and hope this will actually mature into a real product. Wouldn't you also love to control Excel using natural language instead of those weird formulae? ;)