Cisco brings new AI functionality to Webex

Webex Assistant can improve your meetings with language translation, closed captioning and transcriptions.

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About six months after acquiring Voicea, Cisco is bringing its AI capabilities to Webex meetings. Now, Webex Assistant will be able to help with meeting tasks such as language translation, closed captioning and transcriptions. 

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The new features are part of Cisco's larger push to add more intelligence to its communications and collaboration tools. The new Webex Assistant for Webex Meetings capabilities are effectively designed to make meetings more productive, more efficient and less annoying. For instance, by automated functions like transcription, there's no need for meeting participants to take notes. 

Users can also tell Webex to highlight certain points in a meeting or to create action items. After a meeting, users can search transcripts from a single meeting or across meetings. 

"Voicea users have reported saving more than six hours per week per user with more actionable and efficient meetings – and we believe Webex users will experience similar results," Amy Chang, EVP of Cisco Collaboration, said in a statement. "This technology will fundamentally change how we are able to deliver massively personalized experiences and transform the way we work."

Cisco says 300 million people use its collaboration tools. 

Additionally, Cisco announced that Webex Assistant for Webex Rooms will soon be able to communicate with users in Spanish. Cisco added the Assistant to Webex Rooms in 2017, giving users the ability to use their voice to control room devices, make a call or join meetings. Soon, users with this tool will be able to speak either English or Spanish and have Webex Assistant understand and respond in their preferred language. 

Cisco also announced updates to its Contact Center Portfolio, including a Voicea integration with Google Cloud's Contact Center AI (CCAI). Now, agents using this CCAI will be able to get call transcriptions and summaries from Voica, as well as call highlights synched with CRM tools. 

Cisco is also rolling out a tool called Webex Experience Management, based on its acquisition of CloudCherry. The tool brings more analysis and insight into the customer experience and sentiment to call agents.