Microsoft 365 Adds Writing Editor Powered by AI to Improve Skills

Khari Johnson of writes that Microsoft’s new AI features can help people to become better writers with the power of AI tools.

Microsoft’s writing assistant for Microsoft 365 will debut with AI-powered features like Rewrite Suggestions, which lets users highlight a sentence and then right-click for multiple AI-generated revision ideas. Using extensions on Chrome and Edge browser extensions and, the tools include AI Editor, which can correct issues like using only one gender (typically male) and making inclusive suggestions, making writing more concise, maintaining consistent style and improving clarity. Edit recommendations will show up on a dashboard. “Similarity Checker” ferrets out plagiarism and determines whether a paper includes needed citations.

Susan Hendrich, Microsoft’s group program manager of AI and NLP for Office, told VentureBeat that Rewrite Suggestions uses a Transformer-based model, and that they developed all new features in conjunction with Microsoft Research. Experts who spoke with VentureBeat said the improved text generation and other editing elements are among the most impressive advances in AI to date.

“We’ve definitely used machine learning models in our writing intelligence before, and this is one of the first times we’ve actually used deep neural networks to provide writing suggestions or intelligence.” Hendrich said. “It’s a pretty big deal for us.”

Remember back in 2016 when it took less than 24 hours for Twitter to corrupt an innocent AI chatbot? That’s when Microsoft unveiled Tay — a Twitter bot that the company described as an experiment in “conversational understanding.” The more people chatted with Tay, said Microsoft, the smarter it would get, learning “casual and playful conversation.” However, like Twitter, an exploited vulnerability turned Microsoft’s Tay chatbot into a source of inappropriate recommendations like “smoking kush” in front of the police.

On its blog, Microsoft describes its latest Editor as a major expansion, with “an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages, now accessible across Word and, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.”

“Whether you’re writing a paper for school or updating your LinkedIn profile, Editor helps you put your best foot forward as you write.”