Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two commonly heard phrases in today’s world, especially in the business arena. We are told that this new technology has the potential to transform numerous industries across the globe. So what exactly is it? And how might it change communications?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that deals with the simulation of so-called ‘intelligent’ behaviour using computers. It is closely aligned to computational statistics. In recent times, there has been a shift from the idea that AI is there to replace human thinking towards more of a focus as to how it can solve problems for the benefit of society.
Machine learning is the application of AI in situations where the systems can learn and improve from previous data and experiences without being repeatedly programmed or managed by humans.
Whilst many people have expressed concerns that robots/AI will take jobs away from humans, the latest research shows that AI will actually create more jobs in the UK than it will displace by 2037 . However, AI has the potential to also help numerous people in their current roles.
Machine learning and communications
AI is clearly going to change the way in which we interact with customers, interact internally, and do business generally. While unified communications (UC) is something that has emerged alongside VoIP, ‘Intelligent communications’ is a term that is being increasingly used. Essentially, intelligent communications is where AI and business communications intersect. Intelligent communications will provide insight and guidance and will help people to deal effectively with the constant deluge of information.
Microsoft is already using AI within its UC platform. The latest application is Microsoft Teams which is the collaboration element of Office 365. Teams enables users to form project teams, discuss projects, share information, give updates, and more.
The AI element within this has been christened ‘Microsoft Graph’. Microsoft describes it as a ‘brain’ that processes data and signals in every email, every file and every message sent within Office 365. It constantly analyses interactions and is able to provide insight and summarise vast swathes of information.
As an example, let’s say you’ve been asked to work on a project building a new app that helps people find their nearest dentist with available appointments. You need an expert on apps to help you deliver the project. Instead of asking around the office for an app expert, you can ask Microsoft Teams “Who knows about app development?” Teams will then search through every interaction and channel to find out who in the 365 platform discusses apps the most and will recommend that you contact that user.
Beyond this, Microsoft Graph can record your meetings, automatically transcribe them and put the file within your team’s discussion area to be viewed. This means that you can access all of the information that was discussed. And with AI, you can search specific keywords or names within the recorded material and skip to that exact moment in the recording.
Again, in terms of meetings, Google believes that AI can revolutionise all aspects, from space reservations through to the time that’s spent in meetings.
It is reported that the average US office worker spends over an hour each week scheduling meetings. Machine learning bots can be used to schedule meetings with a simple message such as “schedule a meeting with Dan tomorrow.” The bot will then scan both calendars to find a time that suits and automatically send invites to both participants.
In addition to organising meetings, the bot can manage meeting rooms and spaces and can even cancel or reallocate to a smaller room if a meeting has to be pulled or some attendees can’t make it. This reduces the amount of time that meeting rooms are empty or underutilised.
Google is also promoting the use of digital whiteboards, such as its own Jamboard, to help with note taking and information capture. With machine learning, handwritten notes can be converted into a typed font in real-time and multiple users can take notes on the shared whiteboard at the same time. Everything on the whiteboard is then saved and sent to the relevant people.
Google wants to use AI to deal with the mundane tasks, enabling people to concentrate on those tasks that only humans can do – such as being creative and interacting on a personal level.
The VoIP wholesale carrier and AI
One area in which machine learning could have an impact is VoIP. This is because it is suited to the unified communications platforms and features that are associated with VoIP.
If you are looking for an expert VoIP provider to help with your telecommunications, why not get in touch with our team here at IDT today?