Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba Group's digital technology and intelligence backbone, unveiled Tingwu, an AI-powered meeting assistant, along with a new version of its cloud computer. The solutions are designed for the new world of work, and they address a surge in demand from corporate users looking to work remotely with more automated support, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.
An AI assistant designed for intelligent note taking
Tingwu is an AI-powered meeting assistant developed by the Speech Lab of Alibaba DAMO Academy (DAMO), the global research initiative by Alibaba Group. The technology works by converting the content of spoken meetings into written minutes in real time with up to 98% accuracy, delivering an efficient experience for users.
“Underpinned by our end-to-end speech recognition solution, Tingwu’s accuracy and powerful features make it a perfect tool for businesses to host multi-location online and offline conferences and interviews. As enterprises continue to embrace the next generation of remote working, Tingwu is well-positioned to transform business meetings with productive and easy-to-use automated voice transcription capabilities,” said Zhijie Yan, Head of Speech Lab of Alibaba DAMO Academy.
Tingwu, which was unveiled at this year's Apsara Conference, can distinguish between the voices of up to ten meeting participants by using DAMO's proprietary algorithms for analysing voiceprints and bearings. The assistant has a smart microphone that can receive and recognise speech within a 10-meter range while reducing background noise.
Tingwu’s ability to comprehend, powered by automatic speech recognition capabilities, natural language processing and deep-learning technologies, enables it to handle English, Mandarin and 14 other Chinese dialects as well as automatically correct or refine notes based on the entire context of a meeting. The assistant can also organise the minutes by keywords, generate a meeting summary and highlights, and list follow-up items.
In China, Tingwu has been integrated into DingTalk, a digital collaboration platform created by Alibaba Group, to enhance meeting efficiency on the platform by automatically transcribing conversations and sharing notes with users.
“The functionality of Tingwu will continue to expand, as we are now developing a model that can process mixed-language speech. We will also explore additional language options to prepare Tingwu for use in large multinational corporations and overseas markets,” Yan added.
An office in the cloud to work from anywhere
Building on the Wuying cloud computer's success for enterprises that debuted last year, Alibaba Cloud has upgraded its functionality with an all-in-one PC and a one-stop “Cloud Workplace” solution to empower users to work from anywhere.
“Our upgraded cloud computer is ‘an office in the cloud’ that offers enterprise and individual users flexible remote working options, and at the same time provides them with a secure environment for network access and storage functions,” said Jiangwei Jiang, Senior Researcher and General Manager of Infrastructure Products, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “As remote offices become a more common way of working around the world, we remain committed to innovating products and services that bring the benefits of cloud computing to all.”
The upgraded computer draws on the power of the cloud to give users access to organisational resources regardless of whether they are at home or in the office. This access comes through the “Cloud Workplace”, an integrated solution consisting of security, network and storage tools enabling enterprises to build “an office in the cloud” in a secure and agile way.
The solution directly addresses the data security challenges many IT departments face when they adopt flexible working arrangements. Leveraging cloud-based data security capabilities such as firewalls, end-to-end encryption and cloud backup and recovery, the solution stores information in the cloud, rather than on a device, thereby enhancing corporate information security for both home-based and in-office workforces.
The Wuying family of products now includes the latest all-in-one PC, previously launched card and box terminals, and a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) application, which allows corporate users to connect to the cloud computer from any device, regardless of the operating system installed. This provides corporations with the flexibility to use existing resources and the scalability to support business expansion, allowing them to tailor IT infrastructure to their specific needs.
During the Apsara Conference, Alibaba Cloud also announced a program to help narrow the digital gap in China. The program will provide cloud computers to 10,000 schools in underdeveloped areas to help build the technical foundation to cultivate digital talent.