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Shoeleather Journalism in the Digital Age

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1ON1 with Javed Khan at Cisco on the AI revolution of modern American industry

photo of an AI fear many Americans have that a Cisco executive is discussing
Much of the quality of life American’s enjoy today is based on the advancements of technology in turn fueling a capitalistic society hinging on a few core economic principles. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Javed Khan offers a practical interpretation of AI applications at CISCO
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

The No. 1 contemplation of American business owners, employees, educators and corporate officers is this question: How will AI or ‘artificial intelligence’ change my professional life?

Much of the quality of life American’s enjoy today is based on the advancements of technology in turn fueling a capitalistic society hinging on a few core economic principles: More profits through efficiency creating the same quality product at less cost.

These are some of the fundamental rules of capitalism in America in the 21st century and at Cisco — the multinational digital communications technology conglomerate corporation, which is headquartered in San Jose, California — leaders there are focused on how AI will help humans communicate with each other better.

“The next era of AI will undoubtedly transform the way we work,” said Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Collaboration. “AI has already empowered us all to reimagine how we connect and collaborate. Though we’re still in the early days of exploring everything that’s possible with AI, recent advancements in LLM (large language models) allow technology to better understand human intent and respond in natural language like never before possible. This is going to allow us to solve new use cases that previously always required human involvement.”

Mr. Khan shares an optimistic and measured perspective on how AI can help humans understand the world around them better.

“As AI continues to help with important decision-making, it’ll be important to mitigate inappropriate uses of this technology as it may enable more advanced scams, convincing deep fakes, and more, he said. “Despite the tremendous positive impact of AI, it’s more critical than ever that the industry ensures responsible and ethical use cases and guidelines are implemented.”

Javed Khan
Javed Khan at Cisco on the AI revolution unfolding across American industry

The Arizona Digital Free Press reached out to Mr. Khan to better understand how a multinational corporation like Cisco is tackling the fast-evolving world of AI. This is what he had to say:

*How is AI going to change how employees work at Cisco specifically?

As employees increasingly come back to the office, there is an enormous opportunity to leverage AI to enhance productivity and deliver simplicity. Cisco is committed to using this technology to deliver unrivaled hybrid work experiences that provide workers and customers with seamless collaboration experiences. At Cisco, we recognize that AI can power an inclusive future for all. As we continue to explore ways to integrate AI safely and intelligently, we’ll leverage our deep history with AI and commitment to security and privacy to mitigate potential harm against customers, users, employees, and other stakeholders.

*How can AI be used to improve employee productivity and collaboration?

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized the way we work, making it easier, faster, and more efficient. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, it allows us to focus on more complex and creative work.

Some examples of how Webex by Cisco is integrating AI to meet customers’ growing expectations for reliable and seamless collaboration experiences:

  • Cisco has recently unveiled new generative AI-powered summarization capabilities in Webex.
  • Meeting Summaries – leveraging LLM allows us to automatically generate intelligent meeting summaries from each Webex meeting, highlighting key points and action items discussed.
  • Vidcast summaries – Will produce highlights and chapters so viewers can navigate to the most important parts of the video quickly.

Other recently announced AI-powered video enhancements across Webex Suite and Devices that will roll out over the course of this year include:

  • Cinematic meetings – Cameras follow individuals through voice and facial recognition, automatically switching views to capture the best angle of the active speaker. This update delivers the best view of every meeting – whether you’re physically in the meeting room or not.
  • Meeting zones – Sets virtual boundaries for any collaboration space in the office to ensure cameras don’t pick up and frame people outside of meetings when in a physical location. This helps avoid distraction in busy open spaces and in conference rooms with glass walls.
  • Super resolution – Ensures crystal clear video in Webex meetings, even in low bandwidth conditions. This helps prevent choppy, blurry video or artifacts.
  • Smart re-lighting – automatically enhances lighting in a Webex meeting. This update improves quality and perception of the video even in poor lighting.

What are the risks associated with using AI in the workplace?

When it comes to using AI at work, one of the biggest risks is ensuring that the technology is used ethically and responsibly.

Because AI can automatically generate insights that influence critical decisions and actions, it’s imperative to implement clear governance over how we develop, deploy, and operate AI-based solutions.

Realizing AI’s significant promise while adhering to standards for transparency, fairness, accountability, privacy, security, and reliability is an ongoing mission at Cisco. We’ve developed Responsible AI Principles to form a broad AI governance framework for anyone who develops, deploys, and uses AI capabilities.

How can businesses ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly in the workplace?

As businesses explore ways to integrate AI safely and smartly, they will need to institute protocols to educate employees on ways to navigate known risks – like the spread of potentially fabricated information – while also providing guidance on ways to identify and report new concerns and hazards as the technology matures.

What advice would you give to businesses that are considering using language models like ChatGPT in the workplace?

Incorporating language models like ChatGPT can be a transformative step for businesses if approached thoughtfully. It is important to clearly define the potential use cases and identify specific areas where the language model can add value to the business – starting small with a pilot project and gradually scaling up as you gather insights.

Finally, and probably most importantly, it’s critical to ensure data privacy by safeguarding sensitive information and training employees on the model’s capabilities, limitations, and proper integration into their workflow.

What are some of the ways that employees can prepare for the future of work, which will increasingly be shaped by AI?

We are now at a place where there never will be a “new” normal, only the “next” normal – and success hinges on one’s ability to adapt quickly and embrace emerging technologies. To prepare for the future of work and a future workplace shaped by AI, employees can work with their employer to identify which AI-powered tools could potentially be useful in their role and determine if they would be approved for use. While AI will be able to automate tasks and enhance many workloads, it won’t be a replacement for human emotions and creativity.

What are your thoughts on the future of AI in the workplace?

The future of work is hybrid. Getting hybrid work experiences right is going to be more imperative than ever; a recent Cisco study found that 98% of meetings have at least one person joining remotely. With the modern work environment no longer confined to a single space or device, people should be empowered with tech solutions that are personalized to fit their lifestyles and enable work from any setting.

Hybrid work experiences can be elevated with the use of LLM and generative AI to enhance productivity. And video and audio intelligence capabilities help ensure everyone is able to participate equally when they collaborate, regardless of where or how they work.

For example, solutions like noise removal and voice optimization help workers to be clearly heard without disruptive background noise. The use and integration of AI-enhanced technologies like these will make collaboration more personalized and efficient.

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