Zoom has unveiled a range of new products which expand on its usual virtual meeting offering, including a rival to Google Docs and Microsoft Word, an AI-powered chatbot and a range of new customer service tools.

The new products were unveiled on Wednesday (5 October) at the company’s Zoomtopia conference.

Zoom Docs, the company’s answer to a traditional document creation app, will be fitted with AI capabilities which gives users the ability to easily summarise content, search for documents and add content directly from Zoom Meetings. 

“The goal is that when a customer starts using Zoom in the morning, they can stay in the Zoom client,” CEO Eric S. Yuan told Forbes

“Switching back to other applications quite often is a pain,” he added. 

Zoom AI Companion, the company’s AI chatbot released in early September, is having a whiteboard feature added. This will allow users to generate a range of ideas on a digital whiteboard and organise them how they wish. 

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“As work continues to evolve and present new challenges, one thing will remain the same: effective collaboration and communication tools are crucial for businesses to succeed,” Yuan said.

Unlike Google and Microsoft, which also released AI collaboration tools in September, Zoom’s AI chatbot will be included in the usual subscription price of $149.90 per year per user. Microsoft recently announced its 365 Copilot AI assistant will cost a user $30 more each month. 

The news comes after the company confirmed it would use service generated data, rather than user data, from new AI meeting tools to train its AI models for improved user experience. 

The changes, originally announced in March 2023, clarify that Zoom can provide these services without questions of usage rights. 

However, the company has not included an opt-out clause. 

Maya Sherman, senior analyst at GlobalData, previously told Verdict that this update “highlights numerous ethical concerns” posed by using service or user data for AI training.

Sherman stated that being able to opt-out is an essential pillar of GDPR regulations that enable consumer trust and consent. Since many AI tools are still liable to technical errors, Sherman believes that user data will therefore be put at risk in unclear policy updates. 

Zoom clarified to Verdict that customer content will not be used to train AI without consent.