Cisco Enhances AI-Powered 'People Insights' for Webex Users

Cisco says it will be adding new capabilities to the People Insights feature in its Webex its videoconferencing application that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide some customers with "insights that increase and promote personal well-being" and "build better quality connections and a more inclusive work experience."

People Insights provides users of Webex Meetings, Cisco Webex, and Jabber with comprehensive, real-time business and professional profiles of meeting participants. The idea is to provide users with "context and increased insight about the people in their meetings."

The enhanced "insights" are available from three points of view: Personal, Team, and Organizational. Personal Insights provide the user with data about his or her daily trends and interactions (such as key collaborators and activities), so they can "tailor" their collaboration with coworkers and focus their time. Team Insights give each team member a view of patterns among connections, collaboration habits, and work-life integration within team. Organizational Insights offer "bird's-eye views" of an organization's collaboration trends and patterns to help spot silos and identify teams that may "benefit from additional support or an increased focus on inclusivity."

All of these POVs are underpinned with privacy and security, the company says.

"Teams are where the magic happens," said Fran Katsoudas, Cisco's EVP and chief people, policy, and purpose officer. "They're the engine of our enterprise, where individual expertise meets powerful collaboration to be the spark for our innovation. These insights enable a more inclusive work experience and empowers our people to develop and leverage their collective collaboration network, while helping leaders act at the intersection of performance, empathy, and service to others to build connected and effective teams."

Today's announcement builds on the more than 400 features Webex has introduced in the last 6 months, designed to create engaging, inclusive and trusted collaboration experiences.

"With 58% of office employees anticipating they'll work eight or more days from home each month, and 98% of meetings expected to include remote participants, a new hybrid way of working is emerging," the company said in a statement. "It's more critical than ever before for people to have the tools to help them thrive, wherever they are physically working. One of the biggest areas of opportunity is to help people better manage their time and working relationships."

Cisco Webex recently previewed a future capability called "People Focus" that uses ML and AI technology to individually re-frame meeting participants who are spread across a meeting room. The feature will make remote participants "feel more connected" by providing a close-up "cropped" view of each person in the room. This feature will be available later this year, the company said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at