Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s Growing Role in Unified Communications


When most people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they probably imagine robots taking over the world. That kind of sci-fi future is exciting to watch on the big screen, but AI is already improving our professional and personal lives in so many (non-scary) ways. In the world of unified communications (UC), humans have programmed AI to automate tasks in real time, so that teams stay focused on the conversation. Below, we've analyzed how AI is transforming the way we communicate for business, running algorithms to improve our conferencing experience on the fly. 

How is AI Taking Over the Unified Communications World?

Today, artificial intelligence is available to help business consumers and IT professionals achieve their UC goals. For instance, end-users can rely on AI to analyze data about previous conversations (such as emails and text chats) and suggest responses to a particular message. Gmail has recently added this feature, and the algorithms are only going to get better over time. 

AI can also analyze how employees are spending their time during conferences and make suggestions for increased productivity. You can ask the AI to go through all the previously logged meetings and see how much time was spent on certain topics. Then, when you set up a new meeting, the AI will recommend topics to cover based on who is attending. It may also suggest an ideal conference room for the number of participants, as well as some business tools that may be required. 

Meanwhile, IT professionals can harness AI to gain insights about how a UC system is performing. It's much easier for an AI to trove through data logs and suggest troubleshooting tips if a system is acting buggy. For instance, the AI might suggest that you adjust the server configuration or use a different conferencing setup. 
There are already AI solutions out there that can handle the above tasks, and the market for AI in unified communications is just getting started.

How is AI Enhancing the Conferencing Experience?

When you have an important meeting scheduled in the conference room, the last thing you want to worry about is UC technology running smoothly. Fortunately, AI can alleviate that stress in a few key ways:

IT Monitoring and Maintenance
AI can provide insights when a specific UC system needs to be repaired or reconfigured, so that employees aren't caught in a last-minute situation. The IT department can also use third-party apps to monitor UC systems in a more efficient manner. 

Meeting Management
AI has the potential to analyze who is speaking in a conference, assess the main topics of discussion, and follow up with attendees after the meeting. This is still in the early stages, but definitely realistic in the near future. 
Productivity Enhancement

Just like with Siri and Alexa on your smartphone, AI can be designed into a UC platform like a personal assistant. It may take the form of a research aid, looking up answers in real time without being prompted, and compiling the information for later use. 

Auto-Zoom and Room Analysis
With an AI-enabled camera like the Huddly IQ, you won't have to worry if everyone in the conference room is in frame. The wide-angle camera analyzes how many people are in the space, and then auto-zooms in real time for optimal framing. 

Are There Potential Risks with AI? 

Machine learning can be incredibly complex, and when we outsource tasks to AI, they may take the wrong action from time to time. This is why we're still in the stage where AI makes a recommendation based on its algorithm, and an IT professional or conference manager accepts or rejects it. 

Another potential risk is security and data protection. With monitoring tools, there always opens up the risk of leaking personal or company information. Ultimately, we've only scratched the surface of what AI can do, and we need humans to think and make decisions based on the AI's findings. 

AI: Hype or Reality?

As we've previously outlined, there are so many game-changing applications for AI in the unified communications world. Some of these applications are still in early stages of development, but many of them are on the market right now. 

To usher in the new era of AI, Yamaha UC has partnered with Huddly to include its AI conferencing technology in future product bundles. Their first offering is the Collaboration Kit, which combines the Yamaha's ESB-1080 Enterprise Sound Bar and the Huddly IQ camera. 

With the Huddly IQ's auto-zoom (Genius Framing) and other automated AI features, you can set up professional-quality meetings with ease. Over time, the Huddly IQ will offer new AI features and improvements on existing ones, as the algorithm develops. So yes, we think AI is here to stay.