- The adoption of video conferencing platforms has surged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The implementation of AI in video conferencing has already made video meetings better.
- AI has made huge advances enhancing the convenience and quality of communications in the workplace.
- AI is helping in three major areas enormously by driving innovation: natural language processing, meeting room analytics, and computer vision.
- In the future, AI is expected to influence and dominate video communication for a range of sophisticated technology solutions and strategic partnerships which can benefit from smarter devices.
The adoption of video conferencing platforms has surged due to the coronavirus pandemic. Zoom, a video conferencing platform has reportedly seen an average of 200 million daily meeting participants at the beginning of 2020, compared to the 10 million participants in December 2019. As the fear of virus swept globally people started adopting technology to communicate, connect, and work.
Businesses are focusing on creating a flexible working environment such as multi-purpose breakout areas that are equipped with video devices. More and more companies and individuals started using video conferencing to connect to others, enhance productivity, allow room for remote working, and more. Video-enabled communication has become a critical component of productivity strategies.
However, video conferencing apps still have a long way to go as the office spaces are evolving and demanding more from such platforms.
AI Has Contributed to Video Conferencing
Today, the implementation of AI in video conferencing has already made video meetings better than ever before. Now, there is no need to spend time clicking buttons or entering codes to launch a meeting. Users can simply start, join, or end a meeting by speaking commands to voice-based AI. This in many ways is how people interact with Alexa (you can even using Alexa for this).
AI has also added the feature of Voice-to-text transcription. This feature enables the user to take meeting notes during video meetings. This is intended for individuals and their teams to concentrate on what’s being said, it focuses on boosting efficiency and collaboration. This feature is offered on several video conferencing apps including Otter Voice Meeting Notes, Zoom, and others. Voice-to-text transcription is machine-learning-based technology that will get more accurate and smart as more people will use it.
AI has Made Video Conferencing more Efficient
Artificial Intelligence has come a long way when it comes to video conferencing it ranges from voice recognition to facial recognition machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have made huge advances enhancing the convenience and quality of communications in the workplace. Even though it might be hard to imagine more advancements in the field of video conferencing for people like you and me. The next frontier of video conferencing is quite simple.
AI is growing every day and there are several debated if it will, one day, replace the human race. Well, I don’t know! And most of the assumptions made by scientists are against it. So, while humans will be solely responsible for decision-making, AI will play a major role in supporting their decisions making by simplifying aggregated valuable information from calls. And in the future, video or VOIP will be one of the most common ways of communication. This will not only increase efficiency but also accelerate the discovery of solutions.
This simply means that the days of recording calls for quality assurance and training purposes are over and will instead now expose rich insights and data collection. Real-time data will allow call handlers to offer more relevant advice immediately. This type of AI technology will also be replicated in the workplace. As the AI devices will consume the entirety of raw content, they will not only learn to transcribe useful data but also learn who is speaking and when.
Participants in a meeting will then rely on a transcription to cut through the small talk and focus on record pertinent points. AI will be able to harbor the power to automatically assign people tasks and send notifications to meeting members. In the future, meeting participants will now be the only ones benefitting from AI. According to Frost & Sullivan, AI can bring reliability to the meeting room by performing predictive analytics. IT departments will then be able to proactively monitor networks and endpoints. Then scan for performance anomalies and take necessary corrective actions.
So it is safe to say that AI-driven devices will have the potential to make conference rooms smarter and meetings better in unimaginable ways.
AI Technologies Transforming Video Conferencing
The unprecedented advancements in AI can dramatically improve the user experience. It can also drive efficiencies by helping automate time-consuming collaboration tasks. But, three major areas in AI can help enormously in driving innovation: natural language processing, meeting room analytics, and computer vision.
Natural language processing
There are several ways Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help video conferencing to improve. Some of them include enabling automated transcription of the meeting, translating conversation into different languages, and sharing actions and notes. Combined with AI, video conferencing can also enable users to start, join, and leave meetings through voice-commanding virtual assistants and chatbots.
Moreover, the combination of AI with NLP can enable even better audio quality by minimizing background noise and suppressing echo automatically. Besides, coupled with evolving techniques such as automatic beam-forming and leveling, it will enable meeting participants to hear and understand others.
Meeting room analytics
Similar to what we discussed earlier, future AI will be used to drive productivity by interacting with users both inside and outside of the meeting room. AI-driven devices will make conference rooms smarter and meetings better in unimaginable ways. For instance, video conferencing can drive significant improvements through AI by allowing them to automate simple tasks such as call rescheduling and sending important notifications to manage meetings more effectively and drive efficiency. This includes the ability to find and book available rooms, enable screen sharing, suggest relevant documents, notify participants of changes in pre-scheduled meetings, and others.
AI can generate valuable data insights tool for optimizing facilities management while simultaneously making the most of the existing office space. For example, AI can use predictive analytics not just to enable businesses but also to understand how meeting rooms are being used. It can then help the business to boost its room occupancy levels. Furthermore, analytics and AI can also be utilized by businesses to track engagement during video conferences by taking into account participants’ moods and the voice tone in the conversation, among participants.
Video conferencing technology is incomplete with computer vision. It is predictive to drive improvements in video meetings as it will empower them by allowing the camera to recognize the speaker and highlight them. It will also be able to track the number of people in the meeting and tag relevant participants. Other advances include the application of technology including gaze correction and background/environment control to improve user experience in the room.
Computing vision when combined with AI can help drive light correction and intelligent color. It will have the ability to automatically detect visual issues. Also, it will be able to optimize light balance for more emphasis on faces especially during dim light or backlit conditions. Lastly, AI-enabled smart camera controls can track human figures in the room. They can then use allowing the camera to pan, tilt, and zoom to the center automatically for comfortably frame as per the participants. This will be enormously useful for interactive meetings.
Augmented Reality to Redefine Video Conferencing
First of all, people need to clear out the confusion between augmented reality and virtual reality. While these two terms are mostly confused together or considered different sides of the same coin, there are not. In every possible aspect both the teams are entirely different. Virtual reality or VR is a computer-generated re-creation of a real-life situation or environment. While the Augmented reality or AR projects information and images of the real world on actual view.
Many predict AR to be the next milestone when it comes to development on video conferencing platforms through AI advancements. Despite having very limited usage in video meetings currently, AR promises to truly redefine and enhance communications. And it’s getting off to a great start. Companies like Meta are partnering with video conferencing platforms to deliver solutions. It is enabling the implementation of AR in video conferencing for the sharing and manipulation of 3D virtual holograms in real-time. It also allows others to interact with it.
Once implemented, the technology will have the potential to create a whole new experience for its users by helping them interact with virtual service technicians and replicas of products. For example, it will be able to view systems and diagnose problems in real-time. It will be able to create a limitless environment for collaborations and interactions.
The future of VR in video communications is weak. However, it is important to note that the point of video communications is to interact with other people face-to-face over long distances. Engaging with people’s virtual avatar rather than their faces can make you lose this important benefit. AR can share help people with a real point of collaboration.
AI is expected to influence and dominate video communication for a range of sophisticated tasks such as meeting follow-up, language translation, scheduling subsequent meetings, creating to-do lists, and even leading meetings. The possibilities are endless, AI-based assistants might in the future, be able to guide and create top-line meetings through the summary from the notes it’s taken. It can then deliver those summaries to the participants in that meeting.
The assistant can then contribute to the meeting using natural language processing by creating charts to illustrate the data that is being discussed. It can also proactively access and share historical and relevant data during discussions. Facial recognition based on AI, if successfully implemented, can also be used for a variety of purposes in video conference rooms. It will be able to not just automatically recognize people in the room but also pair with technologies to provide others information. This information includes a meeting participant’s title and company affiliation.
IT and facilities staff will also be able to better plan space allocation and usage with the help of useful available insights into who has used the conference room, when, and for what purpose. There will be absolutely no doubt that AI applications don’t seem to have real-world benefits. However, the implementation of AI and AR in video conferencing is truly an accomplishment. And they are making video meetings better than face-to-face meetings.
It is important to note that AI has the potential to transform video conferencing. It can also offer a much better user experience to enhance the productivity of video meetings. Nevertheless, the industry first needs to ensure the interoperability of video conferencing devices in a multi-vendor AI environment. Both large and small players in the marketplace will have to work together and ensure that new advancements in AI and computing vision are designed in a way to safeguard user’s privacy. The only way for the industry to improving the reliability of emerging video conferencing technologies is by building trust in the marketplace and ecosystem. It will be able to push the technology for more adoption of AI-based video collaboration.
It will also prove to be valuable to think from a consumer perspective. Systems should be able to add significant value to existing solutions without sacrificing performance. Also from the vendor perspective, such advanced capabilities should not impact the bottom line. This means that design engineers and architects will need to keep latency, heat, power consumption, and cost to a minimum. AI-optimized technology solutions and strategic partnerships can benefit from smarter devices.