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Chris O'Brien - Building AI into Power Platform solutions


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A presentation I gave at ESPC 2020 (the European SharePoint, Microsoft 365 and Azure Conference) covering simple options for adding AI to Power Apps and Power Automate solutions.

Topics covered include AI costs and different implementation approaches - including Power Apps AI Builder, use of Azure Cognitive Services from code, and use of Azure Cognitive Services in a Flow (Power Automate).

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Chris O'Brien - Building AI into Power Platform solutions

  1. 1. BUILDING AI INTO POWER PLATFORM SOLUTIONS CHRIS O’BRIEN, MVP Products and Services Director, Content+Cloud (UK)
  2. 2. About me Products & Services Director, Content+Cloud (UK) @ChrisO_Brien
  3. 3. Session plan My top 5 AI scenarios in Microsoft 365 3 approaches to AI Building an incident reporting Power App with AI AI costs AI for decision- making (image recognition) Wrap-up
  4. 4. Top 5 uses of AI in Microsoft 365 Image recognition Add tags and descriptions to images so they can be searched 1 Document summaries Extract entities, key phrases and sentiment from your documents 2 Call/meeting transcripts Searchable transcripts for old calls and meetings with speech-to-text AI 3 Document translation Use AI to translate documents 4 Forms processing Extract meaning from documents (e.g. key fields from a contract or invoice) 5
  5. 5. Top 5 AI scenarios - details AI-Microsoft-365
  6. 6. Power Platform for information capture apps Risk Assessment Store Check Site Visit Proof of Delivery/Proof of Execution Our scenario – Incident Reporting ..but there are so many other similar flavours!
  7. 7. Objectives for our application Our scenario – Incident Reporting Provide a mobile app for incident details to be captured Store incident reports and images in SharePoint Use AI to determine what is (likely to be) a serious incident Alert a Team for (likely) serious incidents Human triage, followed by further action if needed
  8. 8. The app implementation Our scenario – Incident Reporting User captures photo and submits details in Power App Image and info stored in SharePoint lists Flow triggered – calls into Azure AI Tags and description written back to SharePoint Teams post to “Serious Incidents” Team if needed
  9. 9. 3 possible approaches Power Apps AI Builder Azure Cognitive Services - code Azure Cognitive Services – in Power Automate (preview)
  10. 10. Approach 1 – Power Apps AI Builder Good for: No code required Ready-made Power Apps integration Recognizing known/pre-trained objects in images
  11. 11. Approach 2 – Azure Cognitive Services - code Good for: Full power and flexibility Relatively low costs Tap into any Azure Cognitive Service with same approach: • Decision • Language • Speech • Vision • Web search
  12. 12. Approach 3 – Azure Cognitive Services in a Flow Good for: Ease of use Lowest costs (depending on trigger) Easily the simplest approach!
  13. 13. Warning! Power Apps AI Builder can only recognize known objects from AI models you have built!
  14. 14. DEMO Adding image recognition AI with Power Automate Scenario: Incident Reporting
  15. 15. Our image recognition scenario so far Our Power App for capture Flow Trigger Purpose Incident photo processing Power Apps trigger Take photo file and store in ‘Incident Pictures’ library Add incident photo metadata New file in ‘Incident Pictures’ library Use AI image recognition to add tags and description as metadata Power Automate for processing and AI integration We have two Flows:
  16. 16. How much will AI cost? The good news: Unlike other Azure Connectors, Computer Vision is a Standard connector (not Premium)!
  17. 17. How much will AI cost? It’s all good news! Azure costs are fairly low too – unless you’re running at scale:
  18. 18. How do the 3 options compare in pricing? It’s a long story! More on this at: https://cob- Office-365-AI-1
  19. 19. DEMO Routing serious incidents to a human
  20. 20. Notifying a Team Now that our image is tagged and has a description, we can: 1. Make a decision - on the likely type of incident and seriousness 2. Perform additional steps – depending on the result In our case we will send a notification in Teams to our “responders”:
  21. 21. The role of each technology in our scenario Photo capture Incident info capture Photo and info storage Process flow Notifications Integration (Power App, SharePoint and Azure) Simple data store Photo library Incident list AI-based image recognition Image tagging Image description Power Apps Power Automate SharePoint Azure Cognitive Services
  22. 22. Take aways All AI across Microsoft 365 is Azure Cognitive Services underneath The easiest route BY FAR is Power Automate – and costs are more reasonable than Power Apps AI Builder No additional Power Platform licensing is required since Azure Vision/Text Analytics are Standard connectors Not every flavour of AI is available in Power Platform – but coding directly against Azure Cognitive Services is possible
  23. 23. Resources: Power Platform and AI – 3-part series on my blog: 5 ways to use AI to supercharge your content in Microsoft 365: Improving Power Apps governance and analytics: ------------------------------------------------------- Computer Vision in Power Automate @ChrisO_Brien Thank you!