Cisco Introduces AI to Collab Environments in Mindmeld Acquisition

Cisco upgrades its efforts to add AI to collaborative environments

Cisco Introduces AI to Collab Environments in Mindmeld Acquisition

Recently, Cisco upgraded its internal efforts for AI development by announcing its intention to purchase a small start-up called MindMeld for $125 million. The company, consisting of 24 employees, has its own AI platform that gives businesses the option to build conversational interfaces into devices and applications. The brand also built their own machine-learning algorithms to develop natural language transactions with chat assistance.

Besides their innovative new solutions, MindMeld will be giving Cisco a conversational AI platform, advanced natural language solutions in the areas of language semantics, entity extraction, and pattern recognition, as well as extensive libraries for vocabulary.

How Cisco Will Be Using the New Tech

Cisco will be using the latest technology to advance their team collaboration tool, Spark, when it comes to ambient listening capabilities. In the keynote presented by Jens Meggers, Cisco showed us what was yet to come when he prompted the Spark Board room-based collaboration device to contact someone with voice commands.

After the MindMeld acquisition is complete, a group of doctors with a Spark board could use the device to pull up X-rays, health records, and other crucial information. The possibilities are endless. Spark can introduce chat bots that interact with workers and complete tasks automatically, virtual agents that handle customer care, and room kits to enhance smaller meetings.

Because MindMeld is a cloud-central solution, the company should be able to aggregate information from customers. This is important because when it comes to AI, the more experiences a system gets, the more accurate it becomes. MindMeld will give businesses the chance to control data in a time when the AI needs to learn before becoming useful.

What Does AI Development Mean for Us?

There’s currently quite a bit of anxiety in the marketplace regarding the idea that AI is going to steal all our jobs. However, the truth is that AI could be used to make us smarter and more efficient in the workplace. Rather than having to work through hundreds of emails each morning, you could ask your Spark system to summarise the information it has gathered and tell you what needs attention first. In other words, we should be looking at AI as an enhancement for our workplaces, not as a replacement for modern workers.

As we look towards the future, it’s clear to see how this new technology, and the offerings from Cisco could be utilised to give more IoT devices a voice too. As endpoints become more interconnected, they will interact more readily with people, and MindMeld can help the interface to create a better experience for everyone.

In 2017, the MindMeld acquisition marks Cisco’s fourth purchase, and it’s also planned to close in the fourth quarter of this year, during the summer. The MindMeld Team will report to Meggers as part of a brand-new “Cognitive Collaboration” group.



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