#TECH: Alibaba launches AI-powered assistance for the next-gen workforce at Apsara

KUALA LUMPUR: Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group unveiled Tingwu, an AI-powered meeting assistant, alongside a new version of its cloud computer tailored to meet the surging demand for automated support solutions, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

Designed for note taking, Tingwu, an AI-powered meeting assistant was developed by the Speech Lab of Alibaba Damo Academy (Damo), the global research initiative by the Alibaba Group.

Tingwu has the ability to convert spoken meeting content into written minutes in real time with up to 98 per cent accuracy.

Underpinned by Alibaba 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 Alibaba Damo Academy head of speech lab, Zhijie Yan.

Using Damo's proprietary algorithms for analysing voiceprints and bearings, Tingwu can distinguish between the voices of as many as 10 different meeting participants. Equipped with a smart microphone, the device can easily receive and recognise speeches within a 10-metre range while reducing background noise at the same time.

Tingwu also has the ability to comprehend as it is powered by automatic speech recognition capabilities, natural language processing and deep-learning technologies, which 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.

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 accuracy options to prepare Tingwu for use in large multinational corporations and overseas markets," Yan added.

Building on the success of the Wuying cloud computer for enterprises which 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 Alibaba Cloud Intelligence's senior researcher and general manager of infrastructure products, Jiangwei Jiang.

"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," he added.

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 faced by many IT departments when they adopt flexible working arrangements.

By leveraging on 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.

Powered by the "Cloud Workplace", the Wuying family of products now consists of the latest all-in-one PC, card and box terminals as well as a Desktop-as-a Service (DaaS) application, which allows corporate users to connect to the cloud computer from any devices regardless of the operating system.

This gives businesses the flexibility to utilise existing resources and the scalability to support business expansion, allowing them to tailor IT infrastructure based on unique demands.

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