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November 3, 2017

Cisco Sparkles in the board room with new AI assistant

Cisco Spark Platform gets a new member powered by AI.

By April Slattery

The business world gets a new gadget as Cisco is giving the business world a new gadget in the form of an AI-powered voice assistant for meetings.

‘Spark Assistant’ is the latest innovation to be added to the Cisco Spark Platform, with the aim of helping employees run meetings smoother and more efficiently.

Cisco’s aim isn’t to replace existing voice assistants already but instead bring the technology found within Amazon Echo and Google Home to the world of business, changing the boardroom completely.

The AI-powered assistant will operate using processors from Nvidia’s Jetson platform, to enable engineers to use AI to create intelligence capabilities.

Features of the assistant include machine learning, speech and voice recognition and language understating to carry out actions such as inviting colleagues to a meeting or adjusting the meeting volume.

Cisco Sparkles in the board room with new AI assistant

Meetings have been made easier with Cisco Spark Assistant

To operate Spark, users must use the phrase “Hey, Spark” then give a command such as “I want to start the meeting.”

Cisco’s business assistant gives huge benefits to companies, making meetings and actions within much easier than now and enable them to communicate with other offices from a singular command.

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Jim de Poortere, CEO, Viju, Inc. said: “We see Cisco’s Spark Assistant as a great example of how we can help our customers expand the use of meeting rooms by enhancing the experience with the Spark Assistant AI functionality.

“We can now provide a familiar voice-activated technology, that many consumers are already using in their homes into our enterprise customers and enhance their meeting experiences.”

Cisco Spark Assistant is currently undergoing trials and will use feedback from these to become smarter itself and eventually be able to do much more.

In the future Cisco has hopes to develop AI capabilities that will allow Spark to bring office documents to meetings and even create a fully automated meeting transcript, continually making office life easier and more efficient.

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When released early next year, Spark Assistant will be available on Cisco Spark Room Series and then expected to be available across Cisco’s conference room devices, as well as mobile and desktop.

Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “The future of great meetings is Spark with AI and our partners have an incredible opportunity to help customers take advantage of this game-changing technology.”

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