The Future of Work: Zoom’s CPO on AI’s Game-Changing Potential

박원익 2024.06.18 09:32 PDT
The Future of Work: Zoom’s CPO on AI’s Game-Changing Potential
Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer at Zoom (출처 : Zoom, Smita Hashim)

Interview with Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer at Zoom
Revolutionizing Work with AI: Insights from Zoom's CPO

700,000 Zoom AI Companion Customer Accounts Enabled in Just Eight Months.
Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer at Zoom

AI assistants are redefining our professional landscape. "We’re going multimodal, and we’re going to do more," says Smita Hashim, CPO of Zoom. In an era of hybrid working, distributed talent, and the push for greater gender diversity in tech, Hashim shares her vision for the future.

Imagine being on a beach vacation when an urgent video conference call comes through, or accidentally overlapping your child's school event with a company meeting. With a "smart assistant" joining meetings on your behalf, answering questions, and providing immediate summaries, such scenarios are effortlessly managed. 

This isn’t a luxury for CEOs of large companies, but a reality for everyone, thanks to AI assistants powered by generative AI technology. This is the future of work envisioned by Zoom, the leading video conferencing platform.

Zoom's AI Companion feature (출처 : Zoom)

Zoom envisions a future where AI-powered "digital twins" - virtual avatars or clones - can take over video meetings. "If you have a personal AI digital twin, it will help you reduce your workweek to three or four days," Zoom CEO Eric Yuan recently told The Verge.

The Miilk had an exclusive video interview with Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer at Zoom. With over 20 years in product management, including senior roles at Microsoft and Google, Hashim is at the forefront of integrating AI into the workplace.

The Impact of AI on Work: Multimodal and More

Since the debut of OpenAI's ChatGPT, the generative AI revolution has picked up pace. How does Zoom perceive this transformation?

“We are living in very exciting times,” says Hashim. “Zoom is a firm believer in AI and is thrilled about generative AI’s potential.” Last year, Zoom introduced AI Companion, available to existing customers at no additional cost. This includes features like meeting transcription, summarization, email and message creation, and whiteboard.

As AI models evolve toward multimodal capabilities, Zoom is gearing up to enhance user interactions with these advanced models. “We currently offer AI powered virtual agents through our Contact Center products,” Hashim notes. Zoom is committed to the omnichannel contact center, focusing on natural voice interactions. "AI voice conversations are evolving to a very natural level," Hashim explained. 

Zoom is also focusing on immersive visual experiences, partnering with Apple for a Zoom application on the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Smita Hashim CPO talks about Zoom's AI products. (출처 : The Miilk)

Zoom’s Federated AI Approach: Leading with Innovation

AI companies are fiercely competing with new Large Language Models (LLMs). How is Zoom's LLM different, and why this approach?

“Developing an LLM is one of the most innovative things we’ve done,” Hashim explains. Zoom takes a federated approach, leveraging various models, including their own, to provide optimal user experiences. This strategy reduces errors and optimizes costs. 

For instance, the federated approach decreases meeting summary errors by 20% and post-meeting action guidance errors by 60% compared to GPT-4.

Partnering for Success: Projects with OpenAI and Anthropic

Can you share any projects or product launches with partners like OpenAI and Anthropic?

“One feature is voicemail prioritization, which is invaluable for those receiving numerous calls, like salespeople or recruiters,” says Hashim. The upcoming Ask AI Companion feature will connect to various platforms, including Zoom Meetings, Team Chat, Notes, Whiteboards, and even Google Docs, and Microsoft Word, streamlining information gathering and meeting preparation.

When comparing federated AI to GPT-4-32k, Zoom reported that while performance is similar, the inference cost for in-meeting questions and summaries is only 6% of GPT-4-32k for federated AI. (출처 : Zoom)

Staying Ahead in the Competitive AI Landscape

With competition from tech giants, what is Zoom's strategy to maintain its edge?

“Our user experience is simple and user-friendly,” Hashim asserts. Zoom continues to expand its capabilities in meaningful ways, acquiring Workvivo in 2023 to enhance workplace communication. Zoom’s flexibility is a major strength, allowing it to adapt quickly and effectively to new advancements.

In March, the company introduced Zoom Workplace, an AI-powered collaboration platform for productivity. The new Ask AI Companion feature aims to help users maximize AI Companion’s capabilities. 

Hybrid Work and the Future of Talent Distribution

How do you view the future of work arrangements, especially with the rise of hybrid working?

“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the acceptance and use of flexible work arrangements,” Hashim observes. Hybrid working allows for a decentralized talent pool, enabling companies to source talent beyond a single office location. Hybrid work is increasingly popular, with many employees balancing office and remote work effectively.

With Ask AI Companion, users can collect, synthesize, and share the data they need to prepare for more effective meetings across their business. (출처 : Zoom)

Zoom’s Expansion in Korea

Zoom recently opened an office in South Korea. How important is this market?

“Korea is a very important market for us,” Hashim affirms. With local support and AI Companion available in more than 30 languages, including Korean, Zoom is committed to meeting the needs of its Korean customers.

Advice for Women in Tech

As a woman with a distinguished career in tech, what advice do you have for young women entering the field?

“Technology is an exciting field, and I hope more women take up the challenge,” Hashim encourages. She emphasizes resilience, continuous learning, seeking diverse experiences, and self-care. Hashim believes in a future where success in tech is not defined by gender but by skill and innovation.

Smita Hashim CPO at Zoom (출처 : Zoom)

Who is Smita Hashim?

Smita Hashim, Zoom’s Chief Product Officer, oversees product management. A first-generation Indian immigrant, she holds degrees from IIT Kanpur, Princeton University, and UC Santa Barbara. With over 20 years in product management, she has held leadership roles at Google and Microsoft. Hashim also founded the Women of IIT Network to support women's career growth through mentorship and leadership training.

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