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Microsoft’s creepy new patent, and why it highlights a strategy with customers

Microsoft is getting criticism for it’s “Productivity Score” technology, which is intended to measure how much workers use email, chat and other tools, as a new patent has emerged that uses technology to score meetings using body language, facial expressions, room temperature, time of day, the number of people in a meeting, and other data.    

The “meeting insight computing system” then predicts the likelihood the group will hold a high quality meeting, and it can flag potential challenges when a meeting is setup.   It is notable this is a patent, and not a product.

By default, the existing reports let managers drill down into data on individual employees.     The tools were first released in 2019, and are opt-in by IT administrators.

Why do we care?

So many reasons… so little time!

Tactically, IT should be working with the business to understand the use of this technology.  Let me observe that no amount of technology is going to compensate for bad management.     

And that’s where the strategy comes in.   The technology services company that talks about the whiz bang feature here is missing the actual value of engaging with their customers to understand their business process and challenges and identifying which products and technology help there, and which should not be used.  

All that said, I think there is a distinctly creepy factor here.  

Source: The Guardian

Source: GeekWire