Telegram’s Latest v3.18 Update Brings AI-Powered Voice Calls to the IM App

Telegram’s Latest v3.18 Update Brings AI-Powered Voice Calls to the IM App

Instant Messengers are all the rage these days. It feels as if every major tech company has its own take on what is the best implementation for an IM app, and one particular company even has multiple variations of what it envisions to be the best IM app. So it is no surprise that we see IM apps extending beyond the conventional paradigms of what users expect to do with an Instant Messaging app.

The latest example of an IM app going beyond that traditional definition of IM is Telegram. With its latest update, Telegram brings Voice Calls to users in the Western European region, with the feature expected to roll out to the rest of the world soon.

Telegram’s Voice Call interface is claimed to be familiar to users and easy-to-use. The highlight of these voice calls is the end-to-end encryption employed, the same one that is used in Telegram’s Secret Chats. The key verification UI that is used for ensuring the call is not being snooped through a Man-in-the-Middle attack has received an update as well. To check the security of the call, Telegram now allows you to compare four emojis displayed on the phone with your caller. You can read more about Telegrams Voice Call authentication over at their FAQ page.

Telegram’s voice calls will prefer going over a peer-to-peer connection at first. If such a connection is not possible, Telegram will use the geographically closest server to connect the call. Telegram will also be expanding their content delivery network around the globe in the coming months to ensure quick and crisp calls to remote locations as well.

With calls being promised to be encrypted end-to-end, how does AI fit into the picture?

AI on voice calls in Telegram does not have access to the contents of the conversation, but it does have access to technical information like network speed, ping times, packet loss percentages, and more. These are inputted to a neural network to optimize “dozen of parameters” to improve the quality of future calls on the given device and network. So calls on stable WiFi can work towards sound quality, while those in spotty cell coverage areas could focus on consuming less data.

Telegram does allow control on who can call you. Voice Calls can be switched off completely, can be allowed for your contacts, and you can have co-existing whitelists and blacklists for special access or restrictions to specific individuals as well.

Video Compression

The new update also brings control over the quality of video shared across Telegram. You can choose from a few options for video quality, going all the way up to 1080p for your shared video. The preview screen gives you a glimpse of what your video will be like for your recipient before you send. The first preference selected is saved as default for future shares.

You can either love or hate the new changes happening with Telegram. The conventional user of Telegram would rather not have an IM app evolve into a chimera of communication, while others may appreciate a quick, easy and user-friendly way to make encrypted voice calls by an app not controlled by Facebook or other giant corporations known for data harvesting. We appreciate Telegram giving users an option to disable calls entirely.

What are your thoughts on Telegram and its new Voice Calls functionality? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Telegram Blog

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