Zoom Announces An AI Companion…. What Could Go Wrong?

Zoom has announced an AI companion which bills itself as Zoom’s generative AI product. From the press release:

AI Companion reinforces Zoom’s vision to deliver limitless human connection on one platform, empowering people by increasing their productivity, enhancing their skills, and improving team effectiveness. Zoom also announced today that Zoom IQ for Sales, its conversational intelligence software, will be renamed Zoom Revenue Accelerator.

Since Zoom introduced generative AI in early June, thousands of companies have benefited from free trials of Team Chat compose and Meeting summary. Beginning this fall, Zoom will significantly expand its generative AI offering across its platform with the launch of AI Companion, at no additional cost with paid Zoom user accounts. 

Zoom’s federated approach to AI delivers high-quality results and lowers costs by dynamically incorporating its own large language models, along with third-party models such as Meta Llama 2, OpenAI, and Anthropic.

Rooted in this unique approach, Zoom AI Companion delivers powerful, real-time digital assistant capabilities to help users improve productivity and work together more effectively. Zoom customers can expect to see AI Companion throughout the entire platform, from Meetings, Team Chat, Phone, Email, and Whiteboard, with additional features on the roadmap.

Sounds great right? But Allen Drennan, Principal & Co-Founder, Cordoniq has a different view:

The advancements in AI capabilities, while truly revolutionary, are moving much more rapidly than the pace of regulation that is required.  While there are clear benefits to generative AI assistance in collaborative communications, organizations need to understand that the process of building the generative AI is based upon customer provided content, and is quite often kept in the cloud outside of the control of the organization.  For sensitive internal communications, companies may be inadvertently providing a blueprint to their own proprietary information and intellectual property to other companies, without realizing they have provided consent. They need to be cautious about how this information may be utilized and what information is provided to third-party products.

Any use of AI needs to be tightly managed, otherwise bad things will happen. Thus it’s no wonder why companies like Samsung have banned AI use. It also might explain why Zoom is giving this away to paying customers. You might want to consider that before you jump on board if you’re a Zoom customer.

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