Microsoft Teams-Slack calling integration is coming, says Slack CEO

Credit: Slack

The Slack group-collaboration platform already is integrated with a number of Microsoft Office services, including Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint. But it soon may be integrated with Microsoft Teams’ calling capabilities, according to Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.

Butterfield announced the coming integration during a call with RBC Capital Markets on March 26, according to CNBC, which reported the news. He didn’t provide a timeframe as to when it would be available, CNBC noted.

Like Teams, Slack has built-in voice and video calling as part of its platform. Slack already has the ability to start voice or video calls from within Slack using the command /skype .

I asked Microsoft if the company was working together with Slack on this type of calling integration and/or whether Slack was doing this using publicly available programming interfaces. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had “nothing further to share at the moment.”

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Fintechs create Covid Credit to help self-employed prove income loss

Financial technology (fintech) professionals have created a cloud-based tool using open banking technology to help self-employed people prove their income losses during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The service will access transaction data from the bank accounts of self-employed people, made possible by open banking regulations, and will be able to prove an individual’s earnings. It collects historic banking data from the last 12 months as evidence of past income and potential loss of income in the future.

Known as Covid Credit, the tool is in development and has not been given the green light by the government.

The concept was created by staff at fintechs including Credit Kudos, 11:FS, Coconut, Capital on Tap and TrueLayer. They are working on a proof of concept to support self-employed people prove their lost income to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The group said in a statement: “In 48 hours, a team from

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In artificial intelligence, enterprises still not minding their data

Data is the raw material that fuels artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives, but it actually can’t be that raw. It needs to be as accurate, timely and well-vetted as possible — or else AI will deliver erroneous or biased results. At this stage, most enterprises haven’t quite locked down the viability of the data employed within their AI efforts. 

Photo: Joe McKendrick

The potential biases at the code level in AI have been well documented in works such as Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction, which calls for greater transparency in the algorithms that are driving decisions on everything from creditworthiness to corporate performance.

Data needs to be looked at as well, and efforts to do so are only beginning, according to O’Reilly’s latest survey of 1,388 data scientists, executives and IT professionals on AI adoption. The survey finds that AI efforts are maturing from prototype to production,

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Zoom accelerates away as office workers make video calls

Since the start of March, the use of business video-conferencing tools has skyrocketed as employees work from home because of the coronavirus.

Data seen by Computer Weekly shows there was a vast increase in the use of video-conferencing tools as Western governments began ramping up their coronavirus lockdown efforts.

The data, based on single sign-on and multifactor authentication from enterprise users logging into conferencing services and other software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps via the Okta cloud-based identity management service, showed a massive increase in the use of video-conference software.

Logins to RingCentral grew by 58% for the same period, while Cisco’s WebEx experienced 44% growth in logins. This suggests that, during this period, the three services experienced huge growth in the number of users logging in for video calls with their work colleagues and to take part in online meetings hosted on these platforms.

Between 2 and 13 March, Okta reported an

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