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Over the past year we have seen Chatbots become a big part of the way brands communicate with people and to improve customer service. However, with intelligence still being limited and their capabilities not necessarily giving people the experience of dealing with a human. Some may say a bad chatbot is worse than talking to no one.
Recently Cisco acquired Mindmeld to add conversational elements inside of their collaboration environments. With Cisco being one of the leaders in collaboration around the world, it is not surprising to me that they are looking at ways to improve the collaboration experience to the next level by utilizing AI but not just another chatbot but something that truly drives a more conversational feeling interaction between a user and AI.
As a simple example, I suggest that you think about the evolution of search. We are seeing some parallels in the way AI is advancing, specifically with chatbots. In the early days of search you could only really search a keyword. The more specific you got the more erratic the searches became. As search evolved and as Google algorithms became more capable, search went from keyword based to semantic based. So instead of just searching for “Name, Place,” you could search for “The most delicious steak in the Chicago area,” and get results that would be deemed accurate.
With Mindmeld, Cisco is attempting to move in a similar direction. They are looking at how AI inside of collaboration can evolve from basic chatbots executing queries to people being able to converse with the bot like they would with a human in a natural and conversational way AND still get a useful output.
While I believe that the technology is in its infancy, if Cisco can successfully incorporate this into their collaboration suite they will be setting themselves apart from competitors like Slack, Teams and a plethora of other players in the collaboration space.
In this short video I talk more about the acquisition and what it means for Cisco and Collaboration technology users.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio