Zoom founder Eric Yuan wants ‘digital twins’ to attend meetings for you so you can ‘go to the beach’ instead

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There’s probably a million places you’d rather be than stuck in meetings—and Zoom’s founder and CEO Eric Yuan gets this. So he’s working on an AI avatar, or “digital twin” as he calls it, that can do your drudge work while you enjoy life.

“What we are doing now, it’s really looking at your entire schedule, how to leverage Zoom Workplace to help you out,” Yuan told The Verge. “Essentially, you can leave Zoom Workplace, and Zoom Workplace can help you get most of your work done, right? That’s our pitch.”

Part of those grand plans is the ability to create a clone of yourself that can make business decisions on your behalf during meetings.

“I can send a digital version of myself to join so I can go to the beach,” the billionaire Chinese-American chief said, adding that your avatar would also be able to respond to most emails and take phone calls. 

“Today we all spend a lot of time either making phone calls, joining meetings, sending emails, deleting some spam emails and replying to some text messages, still very busy,” Yuan added. “How [do we] leverage AI, how do we leverage Zoom Workplace, to fully automate that kind of work? That’s something that is very important for us.”

Robots will handle 90% of your meetings—making possible a 3-day workweek?

You’re not just imagining the life draining out of you when you’re on back-to-back video calls. Research has proven that your brain activity literally drops when you have a Zoom meeting. 

But Yuan predicts workers will soon only need to attend 10% of the meetings they do today. The rest of the time? You’ll be able to do the things that lights the fire in your belly.

“Let’s assume, fast-forward five or six years, that AI is ready. AI probably can help for maybe 90% of the work,” the engineer-turned-exec said. 

“You do not need to spend so much time [in meetings]. You do not have to have five or six Zoom calls every day. You can leverage the AI to do that.”

In Yuan’s vision, so much of life’s administrative work will be taken over by AI that not only will people have more time to do more fun human work—for example, lunch meetings—but they will also only need to work for three to four days a week.

“Today, the reason why we cannot do that is because every day is busy, five days a week. It’s boring,” the CEO said. 

“You and I can have more time to have more in-person interactions, but maybe not for work,” he added. “Why not spend more time with your family? Why not focus on some more creative things, giving you back your time, giving back to the community and society to help others, right?”

When can I sign up?

The CEO outlined how Zoom’s digital twin technology would likely start out as a voice assistant before becoming more immersive, like Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3.

This is just “the beginning,” but he sees a world where your digital twin captures people so well that “you can’t know if it’s a real person or just a 3D version.”

In fact, it might even be better than the real deal because theoretically, you’ll also be able to have multiple versions of yourself for different needs. 

For example, you may be able to create a more confident or outspoken version of yourself specifically for sales meetings.

“Sometimes I know I’m not good at negotiations. Sometimes I don’t join a sales call with customers,” Yuan explained. “I know my weakness before sending a digital version of myself. I know that weakness. I can modify the parameter a little bit.”

But unfortunately—for those thinking this all can’t come soon enough— Yuan stressed that Zoom’s digital twin technology is quite some way away from becoming reality.

“For now, the number one thing is AI is not there yet, and that still will take some time,” he said.

Zoom didn’t respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

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