This article was first published in the Wiser! Newsletter on 22nd October 2023.
Future of Work: Part 1
As artificial intelligence continues to redefine the contours of our professional lives, the integration of AI into conferencing calls is the disruptive feature I’ve been looking into for this week’s Wiser In AI! newsletter.
Zoom, Microsoft and Google have all added the ability for AI to listen in to the workplace call, write down what’s been said, then summarise it and create minutes and action lists before emailing them to all the attendees.
Take Zoom and their foray into the AI landscape with the unimaginatively named AI Companion. It’s a digital assistant that’s available “free” for customers on a paid plan and is designed to help improve “collaboration and productivity” (their words.)
The AI Companion provides a “real-time digital assistant” integrated across the whole Zoom platform: that’s in meetings, team chats, phone calls, email, and on the virtual whiteboard. Zoom say there’s more to come on the roadmap.
Zoom, Google and Microsoft all make the point that their respective AI assistants are a feature to enhance productivity. But I think it goes much further than that.
Sure, the headline act is the auto-generation of meeting notes which are delivered directly into inboxes or real time in the video chat room. This does remove the mundane task of note-taking for some poor sole volunteered for the role.
But it also means that there will be a higher level of unbiased, impartial consistency in the note taking. Every call is going to be recorded by the same computer code in exactly the same way. The power of the pen and all that is now defunct, it’s in the hands of the robots!
I’ve been to so many meetings where the first half is a litany of excuses as to why agreed actions haven’t been done.