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Cisco today unveiled AI-powered enhancements across its Webex suite, promising to deliver hybrid work experiences with automation, while protecting customers’ confidentiality and privacy.
The updates span workspace, collaboration and customer experience categories, built on the Webex platform, and join a long list of AI and machine learning (ML) features already embedded in Cisco products.
The next step forward for such collaboration is video intelligence, which Webex is expanding throughout the conference room operating system RoomOS.
With cinematic meeting experiences, cameras follow individuals through voice and facial recognition to capture the best angle of the active speaker. This ensures focus on the speaker, while making certain that hybrid workers not physically present in the room can still feel included, according to Cisco.
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Once in a generation platform shift
RoomOS uses facial detection, information about where people are sitting in a room and voice location to direct the meeting and provide the best view. The feature individually frames and levels participants at eye height, and in speaker mode, uses audio triangulation from devices and an intelligent beam-forming table microphone to quickly and accurately identify the position of the active speaker.
Cinematic meetings support a range of camera intelligence features, including speaker mode, frames, presenter and audience tracking and meeting zones.
“AI is fundamentally transforming the way we work and live,” Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM for security and collaboration at Cisco, told VentureBeat. “It has the potential to make collaboration radically more immersive, personalized and efficient.”
Cisco studied what he described as a “once-in-a-generation platform shift” that AI could support. The company’s efforts center around re-imagining hybrid work.
Targeting hybrid work experiences
With the rise of hybrid work, it’s essential that organizations provide employees with the flexibility to work in different locations and in different ways. To address this, Cisco has introduced three new AI-based features into its Webex suite.
This includes a super resolution function that ensures crystal-clear video in Webex meetings, even in low-bandwidth conditions. This is achieved through deep neural network video recovery that hides choppiness, removes blocking artifacts and reconstructs the face and body to render in high-resolution images and videos.
Another new AI capability is smart re-lighting, which automatically enhances lighting in Webex meetings to ensure that people look their best in any environment. This is particularly useful when working in poor lighting conditions. The algorithm is trained to recognize different scenarios with people in different lighting, and automatically enhances the light on the facial foreground.
The third new capability is a “be right back” update, which automatically puts up a BRB message, blurs the background, and mutes audio when a user steps away from a Webex meeting. This feature saves time and is simple to use. By leveraging a 3D face mesh algorithm, Webex can detect when a user has stepped away and replace their video feed with a BRB indicator until they return. Users can turn their audio and video back on when they are back in front of the screen.
AI-powered chat summaries
As customer expectations continue to rise and organizations handle billions of daily customer interactions, it has become challenging for agents and legacy systems to keep up with the volume and personalization required. To this end, Cisco is introducing new AI capabilities for its customer experience solutions, including Webex Contact Center and Webex Connect.
One of the new capabilities, topic analysis in Webex Contact Center, provides actionable insights to business analysts by surfacing key reasons customers are calling in. This feature is built using an AI large language model (LLM) that aggregates call transcripts and highlights trends for business analysts.
Another capability, agent answers, acts as a real-time coach for human agents by listening and instantly surfacing knowledge-based articles and helpful information for the customer. This capability uses learnings from self-service and automated customer interactions and applies AI to ensure that the highest match probability options are identified first.
Meanwhile, AI-powered chat summaries eliminate the need for agents to read lengthy digital chat histories and provide key takeaways in a quickly digestible format. Lastly, Webex Connect users can now describe the function they want to perform, and AI will generate and return the appropriate code instantly, making it easier to create and iterate customer journeys quickly.
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