Contrary to popular belief, Zoom is still alive. And it wants to stay that way. The easiest way to do so (and get some good PR in too) is to partner up with a big AI brand, and incorporate their features into the platform. That’s exactly what Zoom has done. Think Microsoft’s ‘Loop‘ but with a big ol’ Zoom logo slapped onto the front. In a collaboration between Zoom and the hottest AI entity in the world – OpenAI — Zoom IQ has morphed into a fully-fledged “smart companion.”
Whether Zoom has enough of a pull to get customers to use IQ instead of Microsoft’s Loop remains to be seen. It’s similar to that of the war between VHS and Betamax in the 70s. Despite having better tech, Betamax lost out on an entire generation of customers due to VHS’s readily available… marketing. Yeah, let’s call it marketing.
Artificial interest in AI
Zoom IQ isn’t anything new. Previously, it could give users access to smart meeting recordings, with IQ for Sales already incorporating AI to gauge user interactions and boost the performance of sales. The revamped tool is adding new “collaborative” features such as Zoom IQ chat compose, meeting summary, and email compose. Believe us, we didn’t come up with those names. Some overpaid intern is counting his money on a beach somewhere for daring to dream up ‘IQ chat compose.’
New features aren’t all Zoom has been focusing on. The company has said it’s taking a “federated approach to AI to leverage our proprietary AI models, those from leading AI companies such as OpenAI, and select customers’ own models.”
If your PR-speak is a bit rusty, we’ll translate. This essentially means it’s deploying its own, in-house models onto the platform, with some from OpenAI (and potentially some other big names) or custom-built models for specific customers. Zoom believes this will “make generative AI a driving force in making our customers’ organizations more productive.” What that actually means though, is a mystery.
Generating new features
As much as we’re not fans of the brand’s naming conventions, they do immediately tell you all you need to know. chat compose unsurprisingly lets AI takes the reins and drafts up a message in a chat, using previous conversations as a reference. It still needs a human’s touch when it’s complete, but the idea is to save some valuable time. Zoom’s email compose (there’s that linguistic oddity again) follows the same line, though in an email format.
Meeting summary automatically generates a summary of any meeting and sends it out to relevant parties. From there, summaries can be added to calendars or passed around the office. A select few users will be chosen to test out the two ‘compose’ features in April, while others will need to wait for the larger rollout.
For now, that’s the extent of Zoom’s AI dreams. A couple of tools to help you be more productive when dealing with other humans. Hooray. This is only the beginning of the company’s venture into AI, and we’re sure to hear more from them as time goes on.