Published on March 19th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Cisco Is Using AI to Make Conference Calls More Productive
You know how the first 15 minute of every conference call is spent solving technology problems? There is good news from Ian King of Bloomberg.com as AI is being infused into conference calling from Cisco so that the call run more efficiently and productively. This is another example of how AI is slowly becoming a constant component of our everyday life always working just beneath the surface of our activities. AI is always happening. We just don’t acknowledge it or even care – as long as it “thinks” in our favor.
Cisco Systems Inc., the biggest provider of computer networking gear, is trying to embed its Webex collaboration services deeper into the workplace by using artificial intelligence software to make conference calls easier.
The company Tuesday introduced enhancements to a product it says is used by 130 million people a month. The update, including a new version of the Webex Assistant, will make the system more aware of who’s using it, provide greater information about participants on a conference call and offer informed choices about what users want to do.
The improvements mark the first integration of features from Cisco’s acquisition last year of business intelligence startup Accompany. Amy Chang, the founder of Accompany, now heads Cisco’s collaboration unit and is trying to add momentum to Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbin’s push to generate more revenue from software and services. In its most recent quarter, the applications division that is home to Webex posted sales growth of 24 percent.
Cisco described a scenario to show how AI and the smart use of data can help Webex improve on conference calls. When an employee walks into a meeting room, she is automatically recognized by the system, which reads her calendar, spots a scheduled meeting and asks if she wants to join it. The worker says no, she needs to call someone else first and gives her colleague’s first name only. Webex guesses who she’s trying to call, using data and AI software to cut the number of options for whom to dial.
Later, the employee decides to join the scheduled conference call and asks Webex to do so. The participants are identified by facial recognition and tagged with their name and title. At the same time, the worker’s laptop shows the participants’ profiles, including notes and reminders of previous interactions. The software will also identify who the highest-ranking person is on the other side and rank them accordingly.