Will Polycom announce artificial intelligence in collaboration in 2017?
If you hadn’t already noticed the wave of AI products impacting on your life, you soon will as it is likely that AI could soon be entering the everyday meeting. Whether you use OK Google or Siri on your mobile device, or Amazon Echo in your house, the increase in AI is noticeable and rapidly improving in both understanding and functionality.
Microsoft have their own AI or virtual assistant in Cortana. The name Cortana has been taken from one of the most successful computer games of the last decades Halo. She has now been given a life so to speak by being included on some of Microsoft’s Windows products and hardware including Windows 10.
With Microsoft and Polycom working together on collaboration solutions for businesses it seems that it will only be a matter of time before Cortana makes the jump into Polycom endpoints and phones that are running Microsoft interfaces.
What is the advantage of having AI in your collaboration technology?
Ease of use. The simplest way for people to use technology is to remove the user interface.
The benefit that will immediately be seen from having AI in the technology is the fact that solutions will become touch free devices that start on command.
“Start video call with John Smith”
No requirements to enter any dial strings, no need to touch any panels. Simply say “Join meeting” as you walk in to a room and take a seat.
Many people already use the same functionality on their smartphones, especially when driving in a car hands free. It’s simple and it works.
Again, this is all very well, but what more will AI in a meeting offer to make it compelling. After all, this is very basic and hardly a ‘wow’ factor.
Having Cortana in your meetings could give the opportunity to have a note taker. Someone who could record actions, assign them accordingly, automatically email them out and then remind everyone of what the actions were and setting reminders for when completion dates are close.
Cortana could also pull up information, facts or figures in real time to help with ideation that is taking place. There is nothing worse in a meeting where a pause must be implemented whilst someone looks for a document. It breaks the flow and often momentum can be completely lost.
A third example could be to use Cortana to further enhance analytics and monitoring of the service. Helping service owners to fully understand how users are connecting, sharing and collaborating in the business.
There is without doubt, many possibilities of AI in meetings.
Whilst there has been no signal from any of the communication vendors that AI will be heading to their products and services, we believe that it will happen sooner rather than later. The technology companies are heavily focussing on the Internet of Things and AI, so it seems like a logical next step.
With a strong relationship with Microsoft, Polycom is in the perfect position to get ahead of its competitors and to launch the first enterprise level AI collaboration software within meeting rooms. Cisco have a relationship with Apple, so Siri could also potentially end up in a meeting room at some point, but not as quickly as Cortana.
What do you think? Will AI arrive in the meeting room? Can you see an advantage to having AI in your day to day business life?
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