Microsoft says a new tool known as Image Function is becoming available across platforms. The feature originally made its debut in December on desktop and the web. With today’s announcement, it is now landing on iOS and Android.

Image Function in Microsoft Excel is a major new addition to the spreadsheet app. Microsoft initially announced it in August 2022 before launching it in December. Mac, Windows, and web users have been accessing the tool since then.

Microsoft says it is now time to bring it across all platforms:

“Using the new IMAGE function, pictures can now live in the cell and be the cell value instead of floating on top of it,” says Itai Goldstein, a product manager at Microsoft. “You can use sort and filter, calculate, and write formulas with pictures, move or resize the cells, and work with Pictures within an Excel table.”

Goldstein is essentially saying that the main ability of Image Function is it allows users to put images inside of cells. This certainly adds a new dimension to the Excel experience.

Recent AI News

Earlier this month, I reported on Microsoft developing a new AI that will become a part of Excel. FLAME is an AI that will make automation on the Microsoft Excel app more efficient. Because it is designed for Excel, it is more accurate and cost-effective than third-party alternatives.

Microsoft Research calls FLAME a “T5-based model trained on Excel formulas”.

The AI “leverages domain insights to achieve competitive performance with a substantially smaller model (60M parameters) and two orders of magnitude less training data. We curate a training dataset using sketch deduplication, introduce an Excel-specific formula tokenizer for our model, and use domain-specific versions of masked span prediction and noisy auto-encoding as pretraining objectives. We evaluate FLAME on formula repair, formula auto-completion, and a novel task called syntax reconstruction.”

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