Cisco Integrates Voicea Transcription AI into Voice Assistant
Videoconferences held on Cisco’s Webex Meetings platform will now be recorded and transcribed by the Webex voice assistant using Voicea’s Enterprise Voice Assistant (EVA). The new feature marks the first major integration of Voicea’s speech recognition technology into Cisco’s teleconferencing service since Cisco acquired Voicea last year.
AI Secretarial Service
The Webex Assistant will operate in the background during meetings, applying Voicea’s speech recognition technology to automatically recording and transcribing the conversation. The real-time transcription can be turned into closed captioning during the call, with users tagging key moments and spots for follow-ups as they arise. Instead of individual notes or manual review of the video, the voice assistant will generate a searchable transcript, including the parts highlighted for further conversation.
“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,” Cisco senior vice president Sri Srinivasan said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring this and other cognitive features to the 300 million users we already serve with Cisco Collaboration. This technology will fundamentally change how we are able to deliver massively personalized experiences and transform the way we work.”
Cisco announced the update during Cisco Live Europe in Barcelona. The Webex Assistant launched in 2017 after Cisco acquired speech AI startup MindMeld. Almost a year ago, Cisco offered up MindMeld’s platform as an open-source tool for conversational AI. The new version of the voice assistant, including the transcription service, doesn’t have a price tag yet but will start running trials in March. Along with Webex, Cisco said it will integrate Voicea’s tech into Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI platform. Cisco clients in customer service will then be able to get summaries and transcripts of their calls, with key moments filed into customer dossiers for future reference.
Transcribing Market Growth
Cisco is far from the first to offer transcription services for meetings. Transcription AI startup Otter just closed a $10 million funding round this month, following on the heels of another called Fireflies, which closed a $5 million funding round at the end of last year. Cisco has the benefit of an already established presence in the teleconferencing market, but it still has plenty of competition from similar services provided in enterprise packages by Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. As the power of enterprise voice tech becomes more obvious, pillars of enterprise tech like Cisco and Salesforce are keen to provide ways for clients to use it. Conference call transcription is likely only a step in Cisco’s larger strategy for Voicea’s speech recognition technology.