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Can AI help you break free from virtual meeting overload?

Would you consider having a virtual assistant stand in for you at your online meetings? How about having one join to jot down notes while you’re there? Here comes AI to the rescue! Google just introduced some cool AI features for its video chat app, Meet. Now, you can get meeting summaries with to-do lists and video highlights, have a virtual teleprompter, receive live translated captions, and even send a bot to represent you in a meeting.

Google is jumping on the bandwagon alongside Zoom and, both of which have recently introduced similar functions. Microsoft is also experimenting with these tools for a select group of users. The idea is that AI can assist professionals in keeping tabs on meeting details, regardless of their attendance. Moreover, AI might even come in handy for automatically arranging future meetings or composing emails based on discussions during the meeting.

Send an AI to those long meetings

In the coming months, some lucky users will get the chance to send Google’s AI, known as Duet AI, to represent them in meetings. As for Google’s translated captions, summaries, and teleprompter features, you can look forward to seeing them in action next year. Google also has some other exciting features in the pipeline, such as studio-quality lighting and sound, dynamic tiles, and automatic face detection. This means that people in the same room will each have their own screen tile during the meeting.

Zoom reports that about 216,000 companies are using its platform, and users across the board are attending meetings hundreds of millions of times daily. On the other hand, boasts over 10 million registered users.

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How AI can be good for meetings

Zoom and Otter’s AI meeting tools aren’t flawless, but they do offer some advantages. They both provided a broad overview of the meeting content, including discussions, action items, and deadlines. Zoom’s IQ meeting summary even presented an editable breakdown of the discussion in chapters, followed by the next steps.

OtterPilot can provide a live transcript, appearing as a distinct guest in virtual meetings on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. It also offers tabs displaying a live summary, various topics covered, including questions asked and next steps, and there’s even a chatbot that can respond to queries or draft text for follow-up emails.

The transcription and recording features on both platforms will allow users to review the meeting either by playing it back or reading the transcript, acting as a handy backup. Playbacks will be particularly useful when there are errors in the transcript.’s summary conveniently links to the relevant sections of the transcript and audio recording if you want to delve deeper into specific details. Meanwhile, Zoom keeps its transcript and recording separate from the summary.

Getting hold of and sharing transcripts, summaries, and recordings with your team can be quite straightforward. With’s recently launched Slack integration, you could easily post a link to the live transcript and summary directly from Otter’s platform. This could be done either during the meeting, after it concluded, or even scheduled to automatically post during recurring meetings. It will allow users, whether they were in the meeting or not, to follow along in real time or catch up later. The transcript can also include screenshots of the speaker or shared screen for added context.

Colleagues, whether they attended the meeting or not, will have the option to chat with those in the meeting using Otter’s platform. They could also ask the bot questions, like whether someone had mentioned any deadlines. Plus, if they find themselves unable or just prefer not to attend a meeting, they can schedule OtterPilot to represent them.

With Zoom, you even have the option to send out email summaries along with links to access the transcript, as well as the audio and video recordings, which are stored in the cloud.

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But there are definitely some drawbacks

AI isn’t consistently spot-on. There could be instances where the services misinterpret words. This could result in the invention of fictitious individuals who are either assigned tasks or included in the narrative within the AI-generated summaries.

Loud backgrounds and interruptions can also make the audio unclear or cause the services to transcribe the voices of people in the office who aren’t even part of the meeting. The transcription can get mixed up, making it challenging to identify who was speaking.

The AI can also struggle in organizing topics, distinguishing between different concepts, and precisely capturing specific details. It might work more effectively when a deadline for a particular project is clearly communicated.

Besides, the summaries can include ideas that the team had actually rejected, presenting them as items we should pursue as next steps. While the AI can do a decent job of capturing the meeting’s main concept, it might not always catch every follow-up item.

Zoom mentions that its AI-powered features are constantly getting better, and meeting hosts can contribute by rating the summaries with a thumbs up or down and providing feedback. Hosts also have the option to make edits to the summaries before sharing them. Additionally, all attendees are alerted that AI-generated content might contain inaccuracies and are advised to verify its accuracy. explained that its system becomes more intelligent as users make edits to transcripts. The service also promotes using its chatbot for inquiries, as its responses tend to be more accurate. You can also rectify the chatbot when it makes mistakes.

Important factors to consider before using AI for meetings

AI meeting features offer future potential, but experts in AI and work suggest considering several factors. These tools typically require clear audio quality and may struggle with accents or distinct voices. They may not consistently discern what’s most crucial.

Additionally, companies must address consent issues for employees. Are all meetings potentially recordable and summarizable? Can individuals opt out, and how will collected data be used? Could it impact performance evaluation, potentially stifling open discussion?

Moreover, an over-reliance on AI could reduce participant engagement in meetings, lowering overall attentiveness, as cautioned by experts.

Vishal Kawadkar
About author

With over 8 years of experience in tech journalism, Vishal is someone with an innate passion for exploring and delivering fresh takes. Embracing curiosity and innovation, he strives to provide an informed and unique outlook on the ever-evolving world of technology.