Zoom, the video-conferencing platform, has announced that it will offer artificial intelligence (AI) features to its paid customers at no additional cost. This move is seen as a strategic advantage for Zoom as businesses compare the prices of different offerings in the market. Zoom also highlights the benefits of its federated multi-model architecture, which allows for better efficiencies.
Concerns have been raised by customers about the potential cost of using generative AI, especially for larger enterprises. Ricky Kapur, Zoom’s Asia-Pacific head, stated that at $30 per user per month, the cost can be significant for organizations. This raises the question of which employees should have access to generative AI tools, as this decision can be complex.
Zoom has seen an increase in projects related to generative AI among its paying customers, as these features are provided at no additional cost. The platform has introduced several AI-powered tools, including AI Companion and Zoom Docs. Zoom Docs, which will be available next year, is a next-generation document workspace with modern collaboration tools. AI Companion, formerly known as Zoom IQ, is a generative AI assistant that automates time-consuming tasks and provides chat responses and meeting summaries.
The integration of Zoom Docs and AI Companion allows users to receive summaries of their last five meetings and a list of action items. More than 220,000 users have used AI Companion since its launch in September, and it now supports 33 languages.
Zoom’s federated approach to AI architecture is crucial, according to Graeme Geddes, Zoom’s chief growth officer. Rather than relying on a single AI provider, Zoom incorporates multiple large language models (LLMs) into its platform. This approach allows for the evolution and optimization of AI Companion, resulting in reduced latency and cost efficiencies for customers.
Zoom prioritizes privacy and has committed to not training its own AI models or third-party models using customers’ meeting data. In August, the company faced backlash when changes to its Terms of Service suggested that it could use customers’ video and chat data for its AI initiatives. However, Zoom decided not to use customer data to train its AI models following public outcry and feedback from customers.
Overall, Zoom’s decision to provide AI features at no additional cost to paid customers is a strategic move that sets it apart from competitors. The company’s federated multi-model architecture and commitment to privacy are key factors that contribute to its success in the AI space.