Cisco launches AI features across product lines

At last week’s Cisco Live! Conference, the company announced a series of updates to its products that harness Large Language Models (LLMs) to better secure and simplify its collaboration and security portfolios.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a passing fad, noted Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president (EVP) and general manager (GM), security and collaboration. It’s a fundamental shift, and he expects a lot of innovation in the field.

In fact, according to Cisco’s 2023 State of Global Innovation Study, IT professionals rank generative AI as the technology most likely to have a significant impact on their business, with 85 per cent of those saying they’re prepared for its impact. And, Cisco said in a release, it recognizes “the important role generative AI will play in advancing the future of work and is committed to providing hybrid workers with an efficient, safer, and more productive, work experience.”

“AI is used pervasively across our portfolio,” noted EVP, chief strategy officer and general manager, applications, Liz Centoni, during her keynote. “It is not new to us, because we use it to analyze and classify data and enable outcomes that you’re used to seeing: automation, baselining, vulnerability assessment, anomaly detection, and my personal favorite, noise reduction, because we’ve removed more than 100 billion minutes of background noise. Gen AI brings a lot of opportunity.”

New AI-based features announced for the Webex Suite will include:

  • Catch Me Up, which will allow users to quickly catch up on missed interactions, including meetings, calling, chats and more.
  • Intelligent meeting summaries with key points and action items. Users can opt in to automatically generate the most important elements of a Webex meeting, extract the key points, and capture action items with owners.
  • Summaries in Vidcast, the company’s video messaging tool. This capability will produce highlights and chapters so viewers can navigate to the most important parts of the video quickly.
  • New conversation summaries in Webex Contact Center, which will provide agents with a fast, automated way to consume long-form text from digital chats with customers as well as facilitating post-call wrap-up and resolution with customers.

On the security front, the company announced a generative AI Policy Assistant to help administrators create and administer policies that don’t interfere with or accidentally override existing policies.

In addition, the Security Operations Center (SOC) Assistant will augment security analysts with the context to make the right decisions at the right time by providing a comprehensive situation analysis for analysts, correlating intel across the Cisco Security Cloud platform solutions, relaying potential impacts, and providing recommended actions.

Webex summarization, policy management and SOC Assistant Summaries will be available by the end of calendar year 2023. Additional SOC Assistant features will be available in the first half of calendar 2024.

“The attack surface is getting much broader and you can’t handle this problem anymore at human scale, you have to do it at machine scale,” Patel said during his keynote address. “So we needed to make sure that it was powered with AI.”

There are more AI additions on the way, governed by Cisco’s Principles for Responsible Artificial Intelligence.  “We want to do great things with AI,” said Cisco chief executive officer (CEO) Chuck Robbins during his keynote. “And we want to do it in a responsible way.”

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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