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Zoom turns to AI, activates new features to compete

Zoom has introduced new features to compete with other teams’ communication applications. These features are expected to help people catch up with virtual meetings they join late.

The features include AI-powered meeting summaries, prompt-based email responses, whiteboard generation, video huddles and a meeting scheduler.

Aiming beyond just being relevant in facilitating meetings, the company says the new features will raise the competition between the cloud-based video conferencing platform and others like Slack, Calendly, Google, and Microsoft.

This comes after the tech company laid off 1,300 or 15% of its workforce in February.

The company says it wants users to use more of its tools in the execution of their duty; hence it is opening up its email and calendar clients to everyone.

Zoom is noted to be expanding its Zoom IQ assistant to provide AI-powered summaries and “ask further questions” even when you join a meeting midway. Once the meeting ends, the bot will post a summary to Zoom’s team chat feature. The assistant can also summarize the chat threads in the team chat, TechCrunch reported.

Until now, Zoom IQ had the ability to record highlights, divide a meeting into chapters, and list action items automatically.

Last year, the company also launched Zoom IQ for Sales aiming to provide insights from video calls for sales teams.

The company notes that in today’s work environment, workers find it increasingly difficult to balance workday priorities between emails, team chats, meetings and project management tasks adding that teams are also looking for ways to better co-create effectively in real-time.

“Zoom has long built AI solutions into our products to empower customers to be more productive,” said Zoom chief product officer, Smita Hashim.

“We are excited to bring many more capabilities with new large language models. Our unique approach to AI will give customers the flexibility they want and help significantly improve collaboration and customer relations,” Hashim told Computer Weekly.

The company also introduced Zoom Scheduler, formerly Zoom Spots, in public beta— a Calendly-like tool to share availability to book appointments. It further unveiled its virtual coworking spaces called Zoom Huddles, where people can drop in or drop out at any time.

According to TechCrunch, Zoom’s stock has tanked more than 40% in the last 12 months. The company faced its first quarterly loss of $108 million since 2018 in the first quarter results for the 2023 financial year. It expects slowed growth of 1.1% this fiscal year with expected revenue between $4.435 billion and $4.455 billion.

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