Advancing Innovation: Panopto’s Leaders on AI and Customer-Centric Development – Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

 

This article is the second in a three-part series of conversations with Panopto’s tech and product leaders. Part 1 introduced Panopto’s Chief Technology Officer, Amit Mondal, and Chief Product Officer, Uday Ghorpade. In Part 2, we’re exploring AI and customer-focused product development at Panopto. Lucia Ponader, Panopto’s content writer, sat down with Amit and Uday to shed light on balancing customer feedback with technological innovation and the pivotal role of AI in shaping Panopto’s future. From refining user experiences to ensuring data security in an AI-driven landscape, this piece reveals the strategic initiatives driving Panopto’s success.

Lucia: How does customer feedback help shape the direction of product development and technological advancements at Panopto?

Uday: Our approach to customer feedback is evolving from tactical to strategic, focusing on delivering real value. Our customers undeniably seek innovation, and while addressing tactical issues is essential to maintaining customer satisfaction, our customers also appreciate our shift toward innovation. It’s about striking the right balance. We aim to maintain an equilibrium, offering both innovative capabilities and timely & efficient solutions to customer issues. We can deliver the most value to customers when we balance new feature development with specific customer requests. We’re committed to achieving this balance, ensuring our focus on innovation does not distract from the overall customer experience.

Lucia: Could you share an example of a successful collaboration between the tech and product teams that resulted in a notable feature or improvement?

Amit: A standout example is enhancing the user experience in our video content management system.  Feedback from our internal, customer-facing teams indicated a growing need for a refreshed user interface. The product team led this initiative, conducting extensive interviews across our customer base. They focused on understanding the user persona, addressing current pain points, and identifying future improvements to establish a best-in-class product. The findings from the product team’s research were then coupled with modern user interface architecture and framework, and the cross-team collaboration led to a more modern and efficient end-user experience. The teams worked together seamlessly to launch the first release last summer. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re continuously iterating on this improvement. This project exemplifies how product, engineering, and the entire business can unite to address and invest in a significant issue.

Lucia: Can you discuss the current AI capabilities here at Panopto?

Amit: At Panopto, we’re leveraging AI in five key areas:

  • Smart Camera Technology: This feature allows the camera to follow the speaker, enhancing video resolution and clarity. It’s particularly useful for dynamic presentations and lectures.
  • Smart Chapter Creation: Our system automatically segments videos into chapters. This makes it easier for users to navigate through the content and find specific information quickly.
  • Smart Captioning: Utilizing AI, we provide real-time captioning for videos, enhancing accessibility and comprehension.
  • Smart Translation: In line with our captioning capabilities, we also offer AI-powered real-time translation to make content accessible to a global audience.
  • Scalable Environments: On the backend, AI plays a crucial role in scaling our environments up or down based on demand. This is particularly useful for large-scale events like town halls or webinars, ensuring smooth and efficient streaming for thousands of participants.

These five areas – smart camera, smart chapter creation, smart captioning, smart translation, and scalable environments – represent our commitment to integrating AI into our video platform to enhance the user experience and meet diverse needs.

Lucia: Where do you see AI fitting into future enhancements, and how is AI integrated into your innovation strategy?

Uday: AI is a big focus and key element of our product strategy. Here are some of the key areas that we are exploring – 

  • Content Editing: We’re exploring AI for performing smart edits of the video content, such as removing filler words, silence, irrelevant content, enhancing audio quality,etc., to enhance the quality of content.
  • Advanced Captioning: Currently, our system lacks language detection capabilities. We’re looking at integrating AI to automatically detect what language is spoken, which will pave the way for more sophisticated auto-translation features. This means videos could be translated into predefined languages, enhancing accessibility and reach.
  • Generative AI for Video Creation: Utilizing generative AI prompts to create new video content is another exciting avenue. This is definitely a game changer, but we have a duty to exercise caution because of privacy and IP concerns with this technology, especially for our education customers. 
  • Automated Assessments and Grading: AI could enable the creation of auto assessments based on video content and assist in auto-grading, making the assessment and evaluation process more efficient.
  • Enhanced Analytics: While specifics are still being defined and refined, AI will be crucial in advancing our analytics capabilities. The goal is to move beyond core metrics about video consumption and expand into helping our customers tailor the learning experiences to individual strengths, weaknesses, and preferences, ultimately creating a personalized learning journey for each user.

AI is central to our vision of transforming the learning experience, making it more personalized, efficient, and accessible through innovative technology.

Lucia: With increasing data security and privacy concerns, how is Panopto protecting its user data, especially in an AI-driven environment?

Amit: At Panopto, security is our topmost priority. We’re deeply invested in the latest compliance measures and utilize advanced AWS tools to bolster our security infrastructure. In the context of AI, we are particularly vigilant. Our primary focus is ensuring that customer data remains within the customer’s cloud environment with rigorous encryption and cryptographic standards to protect data within the environment and does not migrate elsewhere. We’re doubling down on security restrictions with data access, identity and authentication policies, and risk management with system changes to reinforce our commitment. As we integrate more AI models and tools, we’re addressing security concerns and prioritizing customer data protection. This includes being mindful of the outcomes generated by AI, particularly in terms of potential biases and other implications. Our comprehensive approach ensures that customer data remains secure while AI adds value within the existing environment. We are dedicated to maintaining our customers’ highest level of data security.

Looking Ahead

This article marks the second installment in our three-part series featuring in-depth discussions with Panopto’s Tech and Product leaders, Amit Mondal and Uday Ghorpade. Stay tuned for the final article, where we will continue to explore Panopto’s future vision. If you missed the first part of the series and want to catch up on the initial insights and discussions, you can read it here.

 

 

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Published: December 18, 2023