Using AI to create more engaging meetings
Artificial intelligence (AI) has many possible use cases. It is an important part of everything from voice-activated assistants such as Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, to specialized applications that can screen pharmaceutical candidates en masse.
It’s no surprise, then, that AI can also be incorporated into online meeting software. Numerous manual and time-consuming activities during a normal web conference can be streamlined through integrated AI. In Cisco Webex, AI can play an important role in creating a more engaging experience for all attendees.
Why AI is needed in online meetings
Think of an audio or video conference you’ve joined in the past. Was the joining experience seamless? Who’s been in a meeting where the first 5 min are a wash because one member is working through the trouble of joining…
Maybe you can recall a meeting that didn’t exactly go according to script or had a few hiccups along the way. The possibilities here are endless, but some of the common sticking points include:
- Needing to enter a long dial-in number and PIN to get into the meeting.
- Having to endure choppy audio and video quality.
- Struggling with meeting controls for muting, sharing the screen, etc.
- Capturing key action items via physical notes or and generating transcripts.
Together, such issues make too many meetings aimless and difficult to participate in. The costs of these unproductive meetings are high.
Not only do they eat up time that could have gone toward other activities (like all meetings do), but they also don’t even achieve their stated purpose. That leads to additional meetings needing to be scheduled, resulting in more time being consumed. It’s a snowball effect. This is where AI can help.
How AI supports more productive and less annoying meetings
The AI features in Webex are designed to save time and help during multi-tasking such as teaching kids while home, and driving for no-touch and other automating numerous tasks that previously required a lot of manual intervention. Let’s look at how some of these features work in practice.
Imagine a world where your voice can:
- Join or leave the meeting.
- Start or end the meeting.
- Make or end a phone call.
- Increase or decrease the volume.
- Mute or unmute a participant.
- Enter or leave a host’s personal meeting room.
- Manage connected devices.
It’s all as simple as saying the relevant keyword (activation phrase) and then telling the virtual assistant what you want to do. Read more
Taking notes during a meeting can be hectic. Sometimes, you literally cannot type fast enough to keep up with what’s being said. Notes can also be too fragmentary to be useful after the fact, as they might lack sufficient context.
- Transcribe your entire meeting
- Included out of the box
- No 3rd party software needed
- Safe and secure
- Auto-generated closed caption
- Automatic note taking
With AI in place, all of these problems become moot. All of these assets can be downloaded after the meeting is over, along with a complete recording of the session. Advanced keyword search allows you to quickly find what you’re looking for, even across multiple saved recordings if need be.
Other post-meeting actions
Sharing a recording or transcript is often a good step after a meeting ends, if only to make sure that everyone has it for their records. AI assistants can help you take other follow-up actions that extract even more valuable information and insights from a meeting.
- highlighting and capturing designated action items during the meeting based on highlighted keywords.
- AI may also do some of this information gathering automatically. These summary highlights, action items, recordings, and transcripts can be shared via email with all or selected meeting attendees for a clear overview of what was discussed and what might require subsequent action.
Security and compliance, assured
Recording and transcribing a meeting, even via AI assistant, can create some potential legal complications. Many jurisdictions require consent from all parties involved before a meeting can be recorded. There’s also the issue of where the data is being sent and stored by the AI algorithms in question.
All of the infrastructure behind a successful AI assistant – data centers, networks, clouds, etc. – must be secure against possible data leakage and cyberattacks that could expose the sensitive matters discussed. In Webex, all of the technical processing is done entirely within the Cisco ecosystem for maximum safety.
Implementing AI in your meetings
One of the biggest benefits of AI is that it’s always improving, as its algorithms are refined, and it has more exposure to relevant data. It can improve your web conferences right away and also give you access to continual enhancements.
Feb 25, 2021 — Chris Capasso, Matt Spool, Thomas Vidgar & Damien McCoy
Feb 25, 2021 — Bobby McGonigle & Enrico Conedera