HomeTech The future is… sending AI avatars to meetings for us, says Zoom boss

The future is… sending AI avatars to meetings for us, says Zoom boss

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The future is... sending AI avatars to meetings for us, says Zoom boss

Zoom users in the not-too-distant future could send AI avatars to attend meetings in their absence, the company’s CEO suggested, delegating the heavy lifting of corporate life to a system trained on its own content.

Such a system would be “five or six years away,” Eric Yuan he told The Verge magazinebut added that the company was working on near-term technologies that could bring it closer to reality.

“Suppose, five or six years later, AI is ready,” Yuan said. “AI can probably help with about 90% of the work, but in terms of real-time interaction, today you and I are talking online. Then I can send my digital version and you can send your digital version.”

Using AI avatars in this way could free up time for less career-focused options, added Yuan, who also founded Zoom. “You and I may have more time to have more in-person interactions, but maybe not for work. Maybe for something else. Why do we need to work five days a week? In the future, four days or three days. Why not spend more time with your family?

Ultimately, he suggests, each user would have their own “large language model” (LLM), the underlying technology of services like ChatGPT, which would be trained on their own speech patterns and behavior, to allow them to generate extremely personalized responses to queries. . and requests.

These systems could be a natural progression from the artificial intelligence tools that already exist today. Services like Gmail can summarize and suggest responses to emails based on previous messages, while Microsoft Teams will transcribe and summarize video conferences, automatically generating a to-do list from the contents.

Other services will generate realistic video avatars and plausible speeches from a text transcription. Put them all together and it might seem like an AI avatar is tantalizingly close.

However, artificial intelligence expert Simon Willison dismissed the idea that such technology was imminent or even possible. “My fundamental problem with this whole idea is that it represents pure science fiction AI thinking.” he said. “Just because an LLM can give an acceptable impression of someone doesn’t mean they can actually do useful ‘work’ on that person’s behalf.

“LLMs are useful tools for thinking. They are terrible tools for delegating decision making. That is currently my red line for using them: any time someone outsources real decision-making authority to an opaque random number generator it is a recipe for disaster.”

Others expressed concern about the confusion between what is real and what is fake. Steve Won, chief product officer at identity and security company 1Password, pointed to Yuan’s claims as evidence that online verification was about to become significantly more complicated.

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“How many digital twins can I have at any given time? “This is like a Max Headroom situation,” Won said Tuesday, referring to the 1980s television series.

“The fact that the world’s leading virtual communication app is thinking, ‘Yes, it’s totally okay to have inauthentic conversations, represent and make business decisions,’ I think that makes it a burning issue that we’re going to have to solve. . .”

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