Zoom shuffles AI offerings to form its new AI Companion

September 6, 2023
AI Zoom

Zoom has updated and rebranded Zoom IQ, morphing it into the upgraded Zoom AI Companion.

The new Zoom AI Companion incorporates the same core technologies that powered Zoom IQ, including Zoom’s proprietary generative AI and external AI models like Meta’s Llama 2, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude. 

Starting in spring 2024, the AI Companion will feature a conversational interface similar to ChatGPT and other chatbots. This will allow users to chat with the AI Companion, posing queries about past meetings and discussions or instructing it to perform tasks.

The AI Companion will also provide real-time feedback on user engagement levels during meetings and offer coaching on conversational and presentation skills – which may seem a little intrusive to some. 

However, for users concerned about data privacy, Zoom has noted that these features can be disabled at any time.

Meanwhile, the Zoom IQ for Sales tool has been renamed the Zoom Revenue Accelerator

This ‘’conversation intelligence” sales assistant tool includes a “virtual coach” for training sales teams and a rules-based engine to alert sales staff if a deal appears to be stalling.

Zoom AI Companion features 

Zoom announced that its AI tools will be available at no extra cost for paid users.

Here is a list of Zoom AI Companion’s features as per the Zoom website 

  • Intelligent recording processing: Zoom’s AI lets users quickly consume recordings via highlights, smart chapters, and summaries. This is further enriched by conversation analytics and topic tracking.
  • Automated meeting summaries: A service already offered by tools like Otter and Fireflies, Zoom can now automatically generate a concise summary and list of next steps discussed in a meeting. These summaries can be shared seamlessly via email and Team Chat.
  • In-meeting queries: If you’ve missed part of a meeting, Zoom’s AI now allows you to quickly catch up without disrupting the ongoing conversation. 
  • Chat response drafting: The new chat features help users draft messages for Chat. 
  • Chat thread summarization: Zoom’s AI can generate a brief summary for lengthy chat threads to keep you up-to-date on the discussion.
  • Email response drafting: Zoom will also deliver context-based suggestions to help users draft emails from Zoom Mail. 

These are in addition to the AI Companion’s call coaching features.

Given all these use cases, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Zoom used three different models to create the AI Companion.

Zoom bets on AI

This follows recent controversy over changes in Zoom’s terms of service, which led many to believe the company would use customer videos to train its AI algorithms

The Software Freedom Conservancy, a nonprofit supporting open-source projects, subsequently urged developers to abandon Zoom.

Addressing the backlash, Zoom clarified its policy: “Communications-like customer data won’t be used in training AI apps and services for Zoom or its outside partners.” 

According to a press release shared with TechCrunch, Zoom said, “Zoom’s goal is to invest in AI-driven innovation that enhances user experience and productivity while prioritizing trust, safety and privacy.”

Overall, it hasn’t been an easy ride for the company this year. Zoom recently posted its first quarterly loss of $108 million since 2018, although its share price remains stable enough. 

Earlier this year, the company also laid off 15% of its workforce, attributing the downsizing to diminished demand post-pandemic and growing competition from rivals like Microsoft, Cisco, Webex, and Slack.

Will Zoom’s AI bet pay off? Possibly, but these are rocky times for the company.

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.


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