How are Virtual Digital Assistants turning dull meetings into productive sessions?

How are Virtual Digital Assistants turning dull meetings into productive sessions?

Dimming the lights while sitting on your couch has been the most fascinating perk of owning a virtual digital assistant (VDA) in the form of smart speakers at home. These lightweight robots have simplified our chores, made us more productive and further challenged us to throw more complex situations at them. Therefore, innovators, who couldn’t resist the temptation, are discovering the possibilities beyond turning the coffee maker on.

Undeniably, there’s a billion-dollar market cap at stake. Statista has predicted a $21.2 billion market cap for the VDAs in the next 5 years. Henceforth, business communications are the next great adopters of AI technology. Starting with meetings, this is the first time that VDAs are improving individual productivity by minimizing distractions during meetings.

Pronunciations, accents, abbreviations, business-specific keywords, product names and other commonly used terms in the meetings are being used to train these assistants to come out smarter and more effective.

Improving employee engagement in meetings using AI

37% of meetings are adding no value to the business. This is because most of the time, the members are busy managing dull tasks that distract them from the core discussion. So, people typing on devices, taking attendance, moving ppt slides, etc. may all seem to be unimportant factors, yet they drain a significant amount of the meeting time. And when everyone’s busy completing their chores, they lose attention, ask for revisions and ultimately make the overall session less productive.

Artificial Intelligence-backed live transcriptions can help take notes and capture actionable items immediately. Live transcriptions run in parallel to the administrator’s speech and hence allow you to focus on the subject matter rather than fumbling with manual writing or typing. After the meeting, the app lists the top 10 keywords that were mostly used during the discussion. On further clicking, you can expand into the full text of the meeting. Features like these are of greater importance since as humans, we can remember only 20% of the verbal information fed to us.

The purpose of voice assist

Voice assistants are fast expanding their reach in personal homes through smart speakers and smart appliances.  As per Gartner’s Research, by 2021, 25% of digital workers will use virtual assistants. However, these are consumer-centric smart assistants that are built around delivering a personalized engagement experience at home by performing routine tasks such as playing music.

In more advanced scenarios, voice assistants are used in conferences so that you focus more on the subject matter than fumbling with the meeting controls. Responding to voice commands, tasks such as transcribing meetings notes, increasing / decreasing volumes, enabling / disabling mic, screen sharing, permitting members in the digital meeting room and even scheduling meetings are just an instruction away. Not to miss, the assistant in your absence will ask the other members to wait for you.

Given the underlying Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system, which is greatly powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, these assistants can also be used in project management tools to set automatic reminders of the tasks discussed and directly conveying them to your teams in the project. Given such proficiency to prevent people from dragging into useless chores, not only a productive session is achieved but also inspires everyone to get back to work.

Capture important moments for later analyses

Meeting golds could be related to those moments wherein a specific idea met with the most positive response from across the table. However, amidst stringent deadlines to close the discussion, it is sometimes difficult to acknowledge such moments. With AI, these ideas that were approved by most people can be traced back through the meeting recording. So more than just verbal clues such as certain words or phrases are captured by the AI tool. Happy or satisfied facial expressions, laughter expressions, nods and all those gestures that humans generally give to acknowledge a certain thought, can be put to pattern examination by the AI algorithm.

Alternatively, expressions of disagreement, confusion and even boredom hint at a particular thought not too inspiring for the attendees. And finally, the overall engagement rate of the meeting can also be concluded by analyzing the collective mood of the meeting room.

Even if these personal voice recognition assistants help make our lives so much easier, some challenges are associated with using them such as data security concerns. Letting a ubiquitous source capture business-specific data is a risk. However, these are nascent phases and the technology will gradually mature over a period. Given the swaddle of choices available, security will be the leading differentiator among hundreds of virtual digital assistants.

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