A few years before the COVID-19 epidemic, it had become clear that online meetings were the future of meetings. Pundits had observed that close to 50% of small businesses in the US were home-based.
There were predictions therefore that over half of the US workforce would be working remotely by 2020.
Technologists began to advocate for robust teleconferencing platforms to eliminate the then unpredictability of remote meetings.
They also encouraged innovators to preserve the face-to-face aspects of meetings to accommodate valuable eye contact and non-verbal cues features of meetings.
The online meeting tools that arose from this clarion call were wonky, hampered by a lack of innovation. The choice of meeting tools was few, with limited processing power.
The online meeting of the day was not as productive as it is today, where meetings can run on elegant, portable mobile screens.
Fortunately, today’s innovators have delved deep into advanced online meeting support platforms research. They have beautifully infused old technology with robust machine learning algorithms and ai technology.
What is Machine Learning Algorithms and AI?
Machine learning is an artificial intelligence learning process. It was born from the old school form of pattern learning, which emphasizes computer learning in the absence of certain programming aspects.
Machine learning exposes models to data allowing them to adapt to it independently. Machine learning algorithms enable computers to make repeatable decisions and reliable results.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is a broad science that programs machines to mimic human faculties. Online meeting tools powered by machine learning algorithms and ai are powerful, reliable, and predictive. These tools have massive data saving and assimilation abilities.
The introduction of AI innovation in online meeting tools has led to the discovery of tools like AIRA. AIRA is an intelligent meeting companion that not only takes meeting notes, but transcribes them and shares them with all meeting participants.
She is an AI-powered tool that can automatically schedule your online meetings and dial into the meeting when it commences. Below are the reasons why tools like AIRA are imperative for online meetings.
1. Meeting scheduling
Ask any office assistant and they will tell you that meeting time management and scheduling are vital skills for a meeting’s success. The fact is, there are tons of scheduling tools out there, but most workers often have conflicting timings when meetings are scheduled. Why does this happen?
While the planning and scheduling bit seems deceptively simple, it is not easy to find a time and date that works perfectly for every meeting member.
A simple recommendation of a day or time can bring forth a mess of emails, asking for clarifications on time zones, week, month, or even year!
The person scheduling the meeting might not have ample time, to deal with all these communications while handling their core job and other life challenges. They therefore do not have time to spend in the search for the perfect and optimal meeting time for everyone involved.
Enter meeting personal assistants powered by AI. They will take on the scheduling bit of the meeting, contact every participant, and take into consideration the meeting’s schedule preferences. The AI tool will select the optimal meeting time for all participants and display it to all members.
The AI meeting assistance will also eliminate common scheduling problems like double booking, reschedules, cancellations, and reminders.
2. Time management
Meeting leaders not only face the challenge of updating every member’s calendar and sending email reminders but that of choosing meeting participants as well.
Besides, most employees prefer short meetings that also save on man-hour costs of long meetings. You however have to be careful to ensure that you have enough members at hand to cover the agenda.
The AI meeting assistant can help solve this dilemma by availing enough company data on the agenda at hand. The AI tool will give you access to external data sources and analytics from past meeting behavior and occurrences to help you chart your time management strategy.
The meeting bot will distribute all your meeting topics appropriately to help you cut out all delays, filler discussions and other time wasting occurrences. Good planning will improve the flow of the meeting and increase productivity.
The meetings bot will also help identify the ideal meeting members as per their relationship, role, or expertise.
3. Enhancing collaboration
The ideal online meeting should not be hampered by the usual physical limitations of data access. There should be abundant data at hand to keep all members well informed.
Physical meetings often have the challenge of data access, because a meeting leader cannot accurately anticipate all the information that a meeting will require.
AI tools can, therefore, cut down the frustration that limited data access brings to meetings. These tools can give access to all critical data, before, during, and after the meeting.
As an illustration, in a meeting where drawings and documents are shared on a weekly basis, all team members will need to access the updated version of the information before the meeting.
Since there are most likely dozens of versions of this data in your business’s computers, the AI can scrape through your servers and access the documents needed for the meeting, ensuring that they are up to date.
The bot can also share these latest versions of documents with all team members. When the meeting commences, the AI will also present the required videos, images, data charts, and web links as per the keyword or topic in discussion.
4. Accurate minute taking
Distractions are very costly to productivity. Studies show that once you are distracted from work activity, you will need close to 23 minutes to get back to your productive element.
There are therefore few things as frustrating as a motivated worker who is forced to lose their focus and has to face the uphill battle of concentrating once more on the matter at hand.
Unfortunately, this situation minute taking puts many minute writers in. Minutes are not a transcription of the discussion in place. They simply summarize any critical information as per the agenda.
This summary is later on typed and sent to all participants for collaboration and accountability purposes.
The challenge of minute taking is that the members do not always keep to the agenda. Side issues will creep in distracting the focus of the meeting.
The minute writer will often be caught between the various ongoing discussions, unable to accurately track all deliberations around the table. A meeting set up therefore strains a minute writer’s active listening skills.
In the process of separating key facts in long discussions, they will become very distracted and will most likely not make their contribution to the agenda. Visual meeting assistants like AIRA will take all meeting notes and transcribe every topic discussed during your meeting.
These AI tools have a voice to text features that can help all members scan back through all topics that have been discussed.
The meeting members can use these tools to highlight any questions that arise from the deliberations and table them to the chairperson without distracting the flow of the meeting.
5. Handling after the meeting procedures
After a meeting, the minute writer also has duties that take more of their work time. They have to ensure that the ideas arising from the meeting are kept in memory and put in action.
They have to ensure accountability and follow up by producing all the meeting minutes promptly. They should also distribute the minutes to all participants either physically or via email.
The meeting leader should also ensure that all documents pertaining to the meeting are archived together for use when they question arise in future meetings. The meeting leader also has to remind the meeting members of any uncompleted action items via phone calls or emails.
The AI meeting assistant tool will not only take up all these post-meeting tasks but will do so accurately. The online meetings tool will free the hands of your meeting leader so that they can focus on the meeting and offer their valuable contributions.
They will also ensure that the meeting leader is free to get back to their core work function after the meeting since the AI toll will handle all the above menial but critical tasks on their behalf.
That future is here, and a large number of meetings are now held online via various video platforms. In a couple of months, most office workers have now turned to remote working, handling meeting tools that they barely heard of before the pandemic.