- The newly developed AI Audio Codec primarily aims to enhance audio and video quality during meetings, particularly for individuals experiencing suboptimal network connectivity.
- In addition to enhancing the quality of Webex calls, Cisco pointed out that AI can also increase the productivity of meeting participants in various ways.
Cisco Systems Inc. recently outlined novel ways to integrate generative artificial intelligence into its Webex communications and collaboration platform.
At its WebexOne event in Anaheim, California, it said it would use AI to ensure calls and meetings have crystal clear audio and video while making users more productive. The new capabilities are made available with the official launch of Cisco’s Webex AI Assistant, which will be implemented across the company’s entire portfolio, including the Webex Suite, Webex Control Hub, Webex Contact Center, and Cisco Collaboration devices.
According to Javed Khan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Collaboration, the company will take a slightly different approach to AI than others. He added, “Language intelligence is great, but when you combine audio and video intelligence, you can get even more insights.”
Cisco stated that video intelligence is enabled by real-time media models (RMMs), which are designed to enrich the collaborative experience with real-time insights. For example, its RMMs may identify the movements and gestures of meeting participants to determine when they move away in a meeting, then capture notes on what was said during their absence to help them catch up quickly upon their return.
The newly developed AI Audio Codec primarily aims to enhance audio and video quality during meetings, particularly for individuals experiencing suboptimal network connectivity. Cisco detailed that the persistence of disrupted audio and video remains a major hurdle for participants in video meetings, interrupting discussions and causing frustration among those involved. The AI Audio Codec provides substantial transmission redundancy, enabling faster recovery from network packet loss and ensuring the audio stream remains unaffected.
Khan says it digitizes the audio stream before sending it to end users. This makes the noise much less noticeable. That’s not all—generative AI also fills in the missing gaps. Khan explained, “An example might be lost packets, a lost 300 milliseconds of what someone said. Generative AI can generate this lost data and fill in the dots.”
The AI Audio Codec can also improve sound clarity by eliminating noise, reducing reverberation, and increasing the bandwidth. In addition, a new Super Resolution feature is intended to enhance video quality regardless of bandwidth conditions.
In addition to enhancing the quality of Webex calls, Cisco pointed out that AI can also increase the productivity of meeting participants in various ways. The Webex AI Assistant is engineered to carry out tasks like summarizing the content of a particular meeting, and it can assist a user in staying updated on the occurrences in multiple meetings they might have missed.
The summarization feature also extends to text messages exchanged within individual spaces. These can be tailored to specific preferences as well. For instance, a user can instruct Webex AI Assistant to concentrate solely on messages sent by their seniors within a space that includes messages from various participants.
Another recent addition is the Change Message Tone feature, which assists users in ensuring they maintain an appropriate and professional tone while communicating with their colleagues. Khan added, “We’ve had a lot of success with the tone of someone’s voice. We will be taking baby steps, but we expect to use this more aggressively in contact centers, such as noticing raised voices or the fatigue of call center employees.”
The assistant can also provide “suggested responses” for Webex Contact Center agents to quickly respond to customers. Cisco stated that the recommendations will be based on the customer’s history and the context of their request or query. Finally, Webex AI will provide Slido Topic summaries for frequently discussed topics in interactive Q and As and polls during virtual and hybrid events, making it simpler for participants to stay updated on trending subjects.
Khan explained that the new AI features within Webex are in different stages of availability, and the initial ones are anticipated to be accessible by the end of this year. He said, “We are embedding this into the fabric of our platform.”