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The Top 7 Online Meetings Etiquette and Best Practices to Follow

online meetings etiquette

Online meetings have become more commonplace as more people work from home. Offices are making a transition to the virtual world making video conferencing an integral part of the business environment. The rise of virtual meetings has been a slow but steady journey. They were at first vital to disparate team meetings as employees in multiple geographic locations began to share teams.

This movement has culminated in a global movement towards video conferencing as the global pandemic bites necessitating social distancing between workmates. Consequently, video conferencing platforms like Zoom are now home to over 200 million daily meetings. In late 2019, the platform had a low 10 million meetings.

New meeting tools that enhance productivity are also more readily available online. As an illustration, meeting tools like Aira can dial into an online meeting, take meeting notes, and transcribe all dialogue. Aira is an artificial intelligence-powered bot that frees meeting members from the arduous task of writing minute notes. She ensures that every member stays focused and productive.


The growth of online meetings

Over time, video conferencing might replace conference calls as businesses embrace the cost-effective benefit of virtual meetings. 78% of businesses today are using video conferencing for team meetings, while 58% of them hold these meetings daily. The need for video collaboration software is so high that 83% of large corporations are planning to purchase online meeting software for use.

Meetings can be very valuable when productive and effective. Nevertheless, for all their benefits, the productive virtual meeting is very elusive. It is of critical importance therefore that all stakeholders embrace the connections, technology, and the mix of video and audio to ensure consistency in productivity, as business transit to the online environment.

Below are some online meetings etiquette and best practices for employees and meeting leaders that want to make their online meetings as productive as possible.


1. A meeting leader should prepare for the meeting

meeting preparation

An advantage of working from home is that you are free to wear your softest jammies all day. You can attend your Zoom meeting without having to dress up for success, which makes social isolation more bearable. Your meeting will however not meet its objectives if you do not keep its organization as professional as possible.

A meeting that lacks purpose will fall on its face very fast. The meeting leader should, therefore, send a meeting invite beforehand to all participants and attach the agenda. Describe all expectations and have your meeting tools ready. If possible, talk to a technology expert to ensure that all meeting tools are primed and ready for the meeting.


2. Make a meeting schedule and stick to it.

There are a few things as annoying as sitting in an empty virtual room waiting for participants to show. It is not surprising that despite the fact, the online meetings are extremely mobile the tardiest of employees will often have a reason to jump into the meeting room late.

The meeting organizer needs to ensure that every virtual meeting starts promptly. Do not give room to distractions, repetition of discussed items after excuses of “my dog ate my modem”. Such distractions will only inconvenience and annoy the participants that show up on time. Follow the agenda instead and catch all the latecomers up after the call.


3. Minimize distractions

Online meeting participants are easy to distract because they lack the physical and visual stimuli that keep the traditional meeting members engaged. It is crucial therefore that all distractions are kept out of the virtual meeting room. Silence all phones, mute all the mics of inactive members and close all apps that are not in use. Make sure that no member interrupts the meeting flow or the speaker.


4. Begin with introductions

Let the host announce every meeting member to ensure that all participants feel at home with each other. Introductions increase the awareness of each other’s responsibilities and roles and are key to a smooth meeting.


5. Be professional

be professional

Since virtual meetings, environments are more relaxed than traditional meetings, some members may be too casual and forward in their words or tone of voice. All participants should maintain their professional appearance and posture to prevent distractions and embarrassment.


6. Keep the meeting engaging

All employees should learn interpersonal dynamics that stimulate collaboration in the absence of face-to-face meetings. Remember that over 55% of human communication is expressed as non-verbal cues. Encourage the participants, therefore, to use file transfer or chat tools for side questions and conversations.


7. Observe privacy for security

Ensure that your online meetings only have the participant that need to attend it. Make your meeting private to avoid unwelcome visitors and other security risks.


Conclusion

Considering the online meetings etiquette, the meeting leader should wrap up the meeting effectively and use meeting tools like Aira to send out meeting notes and arrangements or the next meeting,

The Top 10 AI Technology Tools To Make Remote Working Smoother

ai technology

Economic uncertainties will always be with us; the thing is, we cannot predict when they will hit us, what shape or form they will come in, or how long they will last. In light of this, the important thing for businesses is to ensure that teams are supported and have the agility to adjust to changing working environments. You need to prepare your team to work remotely, not just now when the world has to grapple with covid19, but in the future as well.

There is a common misconception that remote work is all about conference calls. While video calls and chats are an important part of getting work done remotely, when we talk about finding tools to support remote teams, we have to look beyond conferencing. Supporting remote working is about team empowerment, and to do this, your company needs to create a tech stack that guarantees team efficiency and effectiveness regardless of their location. Your team needs to feel confident that they don’t have to be office-bound to deliver on business objectives.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 ai technology tools that will help your team stay organized, increase efficiency and collaborate better while working remotely.

1. Slack

Slack

Slack is best known for its “channel” approach to managing communication.

The thinking behind channels is that when running projects, it can be difficult to track communication, attachments, and tasks via email. Slack seeks to solve this problem through channels that bring teams together around a common purpose.

Slack organizes work based on projects, topic, or team. This way, anyone in your organization can find how to best contribute by being a part of a channel that supports their role.

The great thing about slack is that it can also incorporate external teams, fostering collaboration with your partners.

Other features include:

  • You can communicate with team members directly on the channel and get instant alignment
  • Save and search messages and files on slack
  • Save time by getting all people in one place
  • Achieve business-critical tasks such as: setting budgets, see budget approval, work on projects, etc.
  • More transparency through public channels, or increased security through private channels
  • Pin messages or documents that you want to call attention to
  • Star channels that are important to you
  • Integrate with other workplace tools like google drive or one drive. You can also connect to CRM tools like JIRA, Salesforce, Zendesk or own software so that you never miss important alerts and notifications
  • Work on the go with slack on mobile

Pricing

Free package

Standard: $6.67

Plus: $12.50

Enterprise grid: contact the sales team

 


2. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams help teams to not only communicate instantly while working but also reduce email clutter.

Microsoft Teams is a remote work tool that combines powerful communication capabilities of chat, voice and video, with collaboration capabilities such as document storage and office 365 integration. It can also integrate with third-party software through extensions, making it a must-have for enterprises or large teams.

Key features:

  • Record meetings for future reference and to keep absent members in the loop
  • Pause recordings to answer questions
  • Allow teams to join from anywhere
  • For educational institutions, create a virtual classroom and bring all assignments and files in one place, to collaborate virtually in real-time
  • Have one on one meetings or meet as a group
  • Keep your team connected in the following ways:
    • Use the chat, to have “water cooler” talks with colleagues.
    • Brainstorm on Microsoft whiteboard
    • Have team building through virtual coffees
    • Have fun, encourage teamwork and reward performance through teams

Pricing:

Microsoft teams free: $0

Microsoft 365 business basic: $5/user/mo

Microsoft 365 business standard: $12.50/user/mo

Office 365 E3: $20/user/mo

 


3. Zoom

Zoom

Zoom is a chat, audio and video conferencing app that has become almost synonymous with remote working. It allows people to communicate by joining a zoom meeting or zoom room. Zoom room refers to hardware that allows you to convert your conference rooms to a zoom-meeting.

Despite zoom’s popularity, incidents of “zoom bombing” have raised concerns regarding its level of security particularly for teams that need to safeguard their work. However, as team Zoom maintains that it offers AES 256-bit GCM encryption, you should contact them before purchase, to ensure that their security protocols are aligned to your organization’s requirements.

Zoom has the following features:

  • You can use chat during meetings without interrupting others
  • Hold meetings with large groups of people without compromising call quality
  • Record calls and distributes recordings after your meetings
  • Integrate with your calendar and CRM. Zoom also integrates with slack
  • Control your meetings with host options
  • Stream live on Facebook and YouTube and other proprietary software
  • Get meeting analytics

Pricing

Basic: free

Pro: $14.99/mo/host

Business: $19.99 /mo/host

Enterprise: contact sales

 


4. Google Calendar

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a calendar, task organizer, appointment setting, and meeting scheduling tool all wrapped in one. It simplifies time management by helping individuals and teams to keep busy days organized. To use google calendar, you need a google account (Gmail address).

Google Calendar has the following features:

  • It allows you to have a remote meeting through google hangouts
  • If you want to know what you have scheduled on specific days, type, or voice search “what’s my calendar” on google search. The results are private
  • You can sync your personal and work calendars into google calendar to get a holistic view of your day
  • Add colleagues’ calendars to your google calendar to enable you to organize meetings with teams. Note: you’ll need to as your colleagues’ permission before you add their calendars.
  • Share attachments when scheduling events
  • Set event reminders and notifications
  • Use drag and drop function to schedule meetings in no time at all
  • Automatically schedule events straight from your email
  • Track projects by adding and monitoring tasks and sub-tasks
  • Send daily agenda via email
  • Embed your calendar into your website so that your clients can book meetings with you

Google calendar can also integrate with most meeting tools including zoom, Aira, Slack, among others. You can also sync your google calendar into your iPhone calendar by enabling that function in your phone settings.

Pricing: free

 


5. Aira

AIRA

Meeting management can be quite tricky without an intelligent tool like AIRA. This state of the art AI technology meeting assistant:

  • Records and transcribes meetings
  • Highlight keywords in meeting notes to make tracking action items and topics easier. Teams can search for notes and action items based on keywords.
  • Organizes actions points and automatically emails them
  • If you have scheduling conflicts, Aira will join meetings for you
  • AIRA syncs with popular calendars like google calendar
  • Has intelligent analytics that allows you to improve future meetings and drive organizational performance

Pricing: Contact team Aira for pricing and demo

 


6. Asana

Asana

Internal systems, intranets, and printouts do not work when it comes to managing projects remotely. Remote project management is best accomplished with a tool like Asana, whose features enable teams to stay organized, communicate and get aligned.

The transition to remote work can create silos, but Asana’s design ensures that teams work and collaborate transparently.

Asana has the following capabilities that make remote project management easy and enjoyable:

  • Get an entire view of project timelines, to keep you on schedule for each task in real-time
  • Easily identify problems in task scheduling and fix dependency conflicts at project start
  • Give everyone visibility to get easier buy-in
  • Adjust aspects of the project as you go and keep everyone appraised of such changes
  • Import spreadsheets into asana to make project tracking simpler
  • Manage team workload to ensure everyone remains productive
  • Manage new project requests through forms, to avoid getting overwhelmed

Pricing:

Basic: $0

Premium: $10.99

Business: $24.99

Enterprise: Contact the team

 


7. Trello

Trello

Trello is also a great project management tool and is a great addition for teams that handle lots of internal projects, such as a software creation company. Agencies that need to work with external clients could also make their work easier with Trello, as they can give visibility of projects to their clients.

One great thing about Trello is its Kanban-based approach to project management, whereby task organization falls under lists, cards and boards.

If you are an agency or run a consultancy, you can create a Trello board, where customers can track progress in areas of interest to them.

Useful features:

  • Simply create a board and invite a team to collaborate
  • Add details to Trello cards, such as attachments, comments or due dates
  • View at a glance, progress on all your tasks
  • Automate to eliminate tedious tasks
  • Sync across all devices so your teams work from anywhere
  • Integrate with the tools that your team already uses

Pricing:

Free: $0

Business-class: $9.99 per user/month

Enterprise: $17.50 per user/month, on a sliding scale.

 


8. HubSpot

HubSpot

Remote work can result in diminished support for your customers.

Hubspot is a CRM software that will come in handy when you need to ensure that your customers are being contacted and given the support they need. Through HubSpot, you can create a log of your interactions with customers at different touchpoints, and in this way:

  • Address any red flags before they become problems
  • Pursue opportunities that arise during interactions with customers

With HubSpot, you can ensure that customers barely notice a lack of face to face interaction.

But HubSpot isn’t just a tool for customer support. It has powerful marketing capabilities such as lead scoring, email marketing, ad management, etcetera

You can also manage your sales organization from HubSpot by tracking deal pipelines.

Pricing:

In addition to offering a free subscription, HubSpot offers the following paid subscription options:

Monthly subscription Starter Professional Enterprise
Marketing hub $40 $800 $3200
Sales hub $40 $400 $1200
Service hub $40 $320 $1200
CMS hub   $240 $900

 


9. Zendesk

Zendesk

If your business model is primarily in-person, or if you have a dedicated customer service function,  Zendesk will ensure your customer service team continues to offer uninterrupted support through phone, email, chat and social media.

Zendesk is easy to use and tracks customer queries through a ticketing system.

Other features include:

  • Analytics to track issue response, logging and resolution
  • A full sales suite to help your teams’ close deals. The sales suite is supported by live chat, voice, SMS, and automated email sequences that make deal closing easier.

Pricing:

Subscription Professional Enterprise
Sales suite $95 $149
Support suite $109 $179

 


10. Unito

unito

You no doubt have a workflow in your company and to achieve your goals, that workflow has to be synergistic. That’s where Unito comes in.

All work processes, including launching a marketing campaign, lead generation, order management, holding meetings, providing customer care, etc., are all one-stop processes. As each of these processes operates within a different function in your organization, you have most likely invested in dedicated tools for each one. This, in itself, could create silos. Silos break down team synergy and transparency.

Unito helps you create complete workflows by interconnecting your various tools. This way, your remote teams can have a smooth flow of information and collaborate transparently with each other.

Pricing (/month):

Personal: $10

Team: $39

Business: $125

Business X: $225

Enterprise: Contact the team

 

Next steps: Explore these ai technology tools

That’s it for now! We urge you to try these tools (some of them have free trial periods that last as long as 2 weeks long), and if you find that they support your way of working, give them a go.

The tools you choose need to support what your company does and how it does it.

  • Do you, for instance, interact a lot? In that case, you should lean more towards investing in the best communication tools.
  • Is your company sales oriented? If yes, invest in tools that will empower sales capabilities.

Happy working!

The Top 5 Traits Of Applied Conversational AI

applied conversational ai

Conversational artificial intelligence technology is still in its fledgling stage, but its business applications are mind-blowing. More than any other form of robotics, chatbots, a form of conversational AI have crossed the Uncanny Valley becoming more human-like than ever.

The Uncanny Valley is a mysterious region that nestles between the synthetic and natural in robotics design. Here, machines, which seem poised to supplant humans, become unappealing and unacceptable as per their level of humanness.

The phenomena coined by Masahiro Mori in 1970, hypothesizes that people develop an emotional sense of discomfort and unease when they encounter robots with an extreme mechanical composition. People prefer human likeness in robots. Watch out though; get too close to perfectly human, and the emotional uncanny valley phenomena steps in. Humans perceive such robots as eerie and discomfiting.


Applied Conversational AIs are comfortably human

The debate about Masahiro Mori’s hypothesis is still raging on, and pundits believe that the bridge across this sentimental rift is made of bots with features that are indistinguishable from humans. Conversational AIs from hobbyists and legacy businesses are building this bridge perfectly.

As an illustration, a few years ago, employees had to put down their names on a schedule on a conference room wall when reserving their places for a meeting. The internet era came by and made scheduling much easier with the digital calendar, allowing meeting members to automatically reserve their seats from the comfort of their desks. Collaboration also became easier across all meeting participants.

Today, with conversational AIs like Aira, you do not need to open any application to pre-engage yourself in a meeting. Virtual meeting assistants like Aira will give you a quick wake up and inquire about your availability for a meeting on a particular Thursday afternoon. The AI will search your company’s database for meeting procedures and processes and share them with employees that require the data.

This technology saves meeting preparation time and energy increasing productivity, collaboration, and smoothens the workflow. The meeting companion Aira for instance can intelligently join your online conferencing meetings, write meeting notes, and transcribe the meeting dialogue for future use.

She will highlight all your key points and share these notes with your meeting members. She integrates with customer relationship management platforms via Zapier and can supply the analytics of your meetings for optimization. The best applied conversational AI have traits such as;


1. Truly conversational

Truly Conversational

Source

Intelligent dialogue is a vital component for any AI and machine-learning platform purposing to stay clear of the Uncanny Valley. Research in dialogue and its patterns is central to the new generation of AI agents. The day’s conversational AI can carry conversations with its users across a wide range of topics.

They can chat with users just as well as people talk to each other and are therefore easy to use an enjoyable as well. Consequently, you can use them for more than song requests or scheduling appointments. They have engaging and coherent responses, can reason, and understand some nuances in conversations.

For this reason, conversational AIs have become crucial to customer experience improvement. Data shows that over 64% of businesses use them to offer personalized customer experience. Close to 70% of chatbot users report positive experiences and half of all millennials that have not encountered conversational AIs, are yearning to use them.

Genuinely conversational AIs are a big hit with this generation of customers because unlike emails, SMS texts, or calls, chatbots can provide instant gratification, a feature that most millennials crave for in customer service. They would rather ask Google or Alexa to read them a manual than asking service personnel for guidance over the phone.

Millennials love chatbots also because they can engage with them in the casual chat tones that they prefer. Consequently, over 83% of consumers say that chatbots are ‘very helpful’ and would make them their primary channels of contacting support.

It is therefore clear that in the future, the customer will seek the services of conversational AIs more than any other customer service process. Some of the notable weaknesses of open domain conversational AIs are their low aptitudes of consistency, empathy, specificity, understanding, and knowledgeability.

Consequently, there is a wide chasm between an intelligent conversation with a bot and a chatbot question answering service. The best AIs are humanlike in conversation understanding user intent and answering questions without ambiguity.

They can use machine-learning technology to learn more about the user and store the information learned for future personalization or context purposes. The best conversational AIs for multinationals are not only deeply conversational but also multi-lingual.


2. Hybrid models

Hybrid models

Source

Have you ever wondered how chatbots work? Well, here is a compressed low-down on the history of the conversational AI and why the hybrid AI is the ideal conversational AI. The history of chatbot technology is decades old, with the 1950 Turing Test laying the first block laid towards the development of conversational AIs.

More than a decade later, ELIZA by MIT’s Joseph Weizenbaum came by, utilizing natural language processing features for speech capabilities. All that ELIZA had to do was substitute people’s words into scripts, and then feed the scripts back to people to hold a conversation.

One of the most outstanding chatbots of the past is Elbot, whose cheekiness, wit, and sarcasm in 2000 came to the fore via the use of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Since then, conversational AIs like Mitsiku and IBM Watson has been born. Nonetheless, few of these chatbots have had more popularity than the hybrid Siri, Google Now, Alexa, Cortana, and Facebook Chatbots, that all came into the market in the last decade.

Conversational AIs in the past were either machine learning models or purely linguistic. Purely linguistic bots like ELIZA need human conversations to create speech, responses, and rules. Understanding human language is a complex task for machines because conversations have nuances and subtleties that are difficult to recreate artificially.

This is the reason why hybrid AIs utilizes artificial intelligence and machine as well to mimic human abilities. AI and machine learning conversational bots harness massive amounts of training data curated for their learning. A hybrid AI and linguistic bots use natural language processing, understanding, and generation to deliver not only personalized experiences but also apt pre-scripted responses.

These hybrid chatbots can utilize your back-end systems, data repositories, and third party databases to create responses. These AIs are therefore optimizable and will deliver the perfect personality and response as per your business’s objectives.


3. Cross-platform capability

Cross-platform capabilityCross-platform capability

The best conversational AIs should prioritize your business’s opportunities, goals, strategy, and vision. The AI should demonstrate value and minimize risk by working within your ecosystem. Data shows that by 2024, the conversational AI will redefine the user experience, becoming the new customer touchpoint in the place of the website.

The technology will operate over 50% of the customer touches augmenting it with speech, computer vision, augmented and virtual reality, and computer vision. These bots will infiltrate every aspect of day-to-day and business life. Consequently, these tools have to easily integrate with your existing business framework and any other future devices and technology.

By utilizing AIs that can integrate with your business systems, you will save your business the costs of adopting new systems for AI use. The technology in use should support all its users across devices seamlessly to increase user engagement and satisfaction. Intelligent meeting assistants like Aira for instance, integrate with customer relationship management platforms via Zapier.


4. Analytics and data ownership features

Analytics and data ownership features

Do you know that by 2020, over 70% of all white collars employees will be in constant contact with a conversational AI? In two years, between 75% to 90% of all customer queries will be in the hands of customer service chatbots.  Consequently, different business sectors like banking are utilizing chatbots like Widiba for customer service improvement.

Automotive businesses like Škoda, utilize Laura the AI to enhance the customer journey. The amount of data that these service bots can collect over time is unfathomable. The information that they collect is also invaluable for business.

The data collected by these bots can be analyzed for actionable business insights. Your conversational AI of choice should, therefore, offer data protection, ownership, and analytics as part of the package.


5. Enterprise-level AIs

Enterprise-level AIs

Too often business purchase technology devoid of enterprise features. Most open-source conversational AIs rarely have the needs of business enterprises in mind. As an illustration, you will not find any user role management features or version control in non-enterprise chatbots.

There are no collaboration options or development and integration tools. Like Aira that has a robust system of service upgrades for productivity enhancement, choose AI tools that offer control and other robust business options, plus a proven success model.


Conclusion

Some other very useful traits of the best AI tools include personalization for recommendations and accuracy and control to prevent misuse or abuse of tools. Use conversational AIs also that offer brand differentiation features, to enhance visual brand personality and identity. The best AI tools utilize proven technology and have real-life applications.

How To Conduct The Most Productive Online Sales Meeting With Aira

online sales meetings

Having a productive online sales meeting is vital for generating sales. This is especially so now, where the isolation-related stress wrought on by the COVID19 pandemic can make it is difficult for salespeople to feel excited about work.

In this article, we will discuss how AIRA can help your team remain productive during their online sales meetings. AIRA is an AI-enabled meeting tool that works by making meetings efficient. With prior planning and stress-free preparation, salespeople can begin looking forward to their online sales meetings and also be productive while in attendance. We will show you to make this happen with AIRA.


What are the prerequisites for a productive meeting?

Before we go into how AIRA can help make your online sales meetings productive, let’s first consider the makings of a successful meeting. What do you need to have a productive meeting?

An agenda

A meeting agenda tells participants what to expect from a meeting. That is:

  • Why they are meeting. e.g, what will they discuss? You can arrange this in topics, designate speakers and allot them time so that they prepare ahead of time
  • The expected outcome of the meeting

Always send your meeting invites a few days prior, and call attention to any preparation by key speakers.

A meeting agenda sets the tone of any meeting. The great thing about AIRA is that because it assigns action points after the meeting, it sets the tone for future meetings, ensuring that action-tracking becomes a continuous agenda until goals are accomplished. In addition, AIRA’s keywords feature ensures that future meetings can be grouped around a specific action or task.

Adding Value

A meeting should add value to its participants by:

  • Prov.iding information that makes goal achievement possible or easier
  • Training
  • For instance, market share, competitor activities, market trends, new opportunities

Team participation

People own the results of a meeting when they participate actively. A high level of participation begins with inviting the relevant people to a meeting.

Consistency

Meeting recurrence should be kept regularly to ensure that sales performance is analyzed constantly. Recurrences block off certain days or hours of the week. This keeps your team on a routine and gives them a strict timeframe within which to complete tasks.

As Aira is AI, it can quickly analyze people’s calendars and then select a meeting time that suits everyone. This ensures a higher level of attendance.


The benefits of using AIRA for conducting productive online sales meetings

Aira

Stress-free operation

A survey conducted among 1000 workers across 4 European countries found that 90% of employees show signs of stress when faced with new or troublesome technology during meetings.

Employees also waste a lot of time troubleshooting, prior or during the meeting, either:

  • Trying to fix the problem (66%)
  • Coordinating with IT support to fix the problem (50%)
  • Preparing handouts as plan B (50%)
  • 15% of those surveyed even said that they postpone meetings until the technical problem can be resolved.

As remote working became the new normal for everyone, people have had to learn technology almost overnight and use it to run every aspect of the business. In addition to the stress of facing possible job cuts, due to shrining business prospects, having technology that is hard to understand and operate can push workers to the edge.

AIRA is pretty much plugged and play, and this ensures stress-free meetings in the following ways:

It’s easy to set up and use

Anyone can use Aira, even with little to no technical know-how. It’s also very integrative, and most of these processes are automatic and require little to no setup.

Some characteristics that denote AIRA’s ease of use include:

  • It integrates with your calendar, so you don’t need to do that yourself
  • Its interface is intuitive, hence user-friendly
  • It integrates well with meeting room equipment

Salespeople can use Aira while on the move, by dialing in from their mobile phones

Ensuring meeting relevance

One of the biggest time wasters for employees in any organization is attending meetings that aren’t necessary or relevant. Additionally, once in the meeting room, it is easy to get diverted and have meetings that aren’t productive. To ensure meeting relevance, Aira:

  • Invites the right people
  • Sets meeting goals and objectives beforehand
  • Keeps track of meeting time and ensures that you get the most from your allotted time
  • Records and transcribes meeting action points, which keeps subsequent meetings on the topic
  • Makes use of keywords so that salespeople and other team members can follow up based on topics that are most relevant to them

Voice AI leaves attendants free to concentrate on meeting agenda

Taking meeting notes can waste time during meetings if people have to pause to accommodate the slower speed of manual note-taking. Participants also have to contend with interruptions when asked to rephrase or restate a point. All these factors can cause meeting participants to lose concentration and deviate from the meeting agenda.

With AIRA, meeting attendants don’t have to worry about missing a point. This is because AIRA automatically records meeting notes, and then transcribes them.

In addition, eliminating note-taking tasks means that meeting participants can concentrate on developing ideas and furthering the meeting agenda.

Reduce monotonous tasks

Imagine if you have to schedule meetings every week and each time, your tools fail. You would then have to spend a lot of time on manual meeting management and this would leave you little time to be productive in other areas.

One study found that an organization can lose up to 47,000 hours of total employee time per year, just on meeting scheduling.

Hubspot study on employee productivity

Meeting management can interfere with employee productivity (source: Hubspot)

When meeting organization and management becomes routine, having an AI tool such as Aira to handle such tasks leaves you free to focus on other important matters.


Final words

Meeting tools should enhance how you conduct meetings by improving attention, enhancing collaboration and promoting accountability. Aira does this and more, by taking the stress out of meeting management to guarantee productive online sales meetings.

Now Generate Precise AI Meeting Notes With Aira Like A Pro

AI Meeting Notes

AIRA is a voice AI platform that records meetings and automatically transcribes them.

  • This saves times spent taking minutes
  • Opens your time so you can do other things that require your attention currently
  • Makes it possible for you to go through notes later and action them
  • The transcriptions are stored in one place so you can access, refer and analyze them easier

Generating precise meeting notes begins with joining the right meeting. The beauty of AIRA in accomplishing precision is in the simple approach on which the app’s workflow is based. The whole process, from app installation to meeting attendance, minute taking, and finally sending out emails, is designed to guide AIRA to give accurate results. For instance:

  • Calendar auto-sync: Assuming it’s your first time to log into AIRA, it will sync with your calendar and show you all the details of every meeting you have on that day. If you have a meeting or meetings on any day, those meetings reflect within AIRA. This process happens automatically, hence eliminates errors.
  • Auto join: Once you have turned the auto-join function on, Aira will autojoin each meeting at the appointed time. AIRA then attends meetings on your behalf if you can’t, takes meeting notes for you whether or not you are present for a meeting, and then ensures you get the notes from that meeting via mail.
  • AIRA keeps both the recording and the transcript of the meeting for your reference, and all this information is saved in one place. In addition, keywords are generated to make it easier to refer to points of interest. This gives you multiple resources to refer to, should you want to fact check something that was said during the meeting.

With that said, to further understand how AIRA generates precise AI meeting notes, we have to dissect how AI apps work.

The machine learning process for ensuring voice AI accuracy for AI meeting notes

AIRA is an AI voice assistant app, meaning that it works by automatically recognizing speech.

AI voice apps are programmed through a machine learning process, whereby they are trained and tested on their ability to recognize phonemes (a unit of human speech measurement).

The training process usually involves using transcripts from earlier recorded speech to better gauge how well the AI links the spoken word and the transcribed text. This process guarantees highly accurate and precise transcriptions.

Some AI applications also use word decoding, whereby full words are used in the training process. However, Automatic speech recognition is the end goal of any voice AI, regardless of the software used.

The training process  for AI voice apps follows these general steps:

  • Audio is captured through a microphone
  • The waveforms are then put through a 3-step acoustic analysis process, that involves:
  • Acoustic modeling. This analyzes phonemes and the words formed when those phonemes are complete
  • Pronunciation modeling. This analyzes pronunciations and other aspects such as accents that cause variabilities in speech
  • Language modeling. This involves contextual analysis
  • The data from the acoustic analysis is then decoded into text

This entire analysis is carried out by AI to eliminate errors.  Furthermore, as machine learning involves repetitive training processes, any AI voice app that goes through this rigorous creation process guarantees more accurate voice recognition results.

We have already mentioned above that speech to text involves decoding the data from the acoustic analysis. This process as well, needs to be very accurate.

Bottom line

The thinking behind voice apps is speed, convenience and efficiency. But as you strive to bring these qualities to your business, the voice app company you choose to partner with is just as crucially important.

Minutes represent important discussions and decisions for your company. They are how you conduct business. If you cannot trust your AI meeting note-taking app to do a good job, this could cost you your business. A parting note from us, therefore, is that you sign up for a demo of AIRA and experience a whole new easy and efficient way to conduct meetings.

How AI Is Changing the Dynamics of Working Remotely

working remotely

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a risk-taker. He breaks all known business rules and is a force to reckon with in the global commerce. He says “yes” to new ideas, pursuits, and novel concepts and is a prophet as well. In 2018, for instance, he predicted that the work environment as we knew it was about to undergo a seismic shift. 

In his blog post, Branson divined that the five-work, the two-day weekend system would end as the use of technology in the workplace increased. People would find work and play inseparable, mashing it all up in a new way of living. He mentioned that they were embracing flexible working at Virgin, saying that most employees back then were working remotely or wishing that they could.

The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has been catastrophic for the hotel, airline, and travel industry. Like many airlines in the world, Virgin Atlantic is on the red, forcing its employees to go on weeks of unpaid leave.

His foresight into the virtues of working remotely may not have salvaged his main line of business. Nevertheless, working remotely technology powered by artificial intelligence has become the lifeline for millions of other employees from all parts of the world.


The history of remote work

It is difficult to envision it, but less than two decades ago, remote work was not a possibility. The technology that aids the work-from-anywhere type of flexibility did not exist. Your business partners and colleagues back then would have to reach you via a fax number, pager, or alternative phone number, if you were out of the office.

There were no remote emails, direct messaging, and video conferencing, or texting facilities. The only successful remote worker back then was a customer service assistant or telemarketer working at the minimum wage. Flash forward to 2020, and the coronavirus epidemic has turned most employees to remote workers.

Workers are adjusting to working remotely from home measures, but holding meetings via AI-powered teleconferencing software such as Zoom or Slack. Managers are turning to Trello and ProofHub for their project management needs, and Confluence, Google Drive, or  Microsoft Teams to aid collaboration.

Startups such as Zoom, have become so central to business teleconferencing software needs, that its daily users have spiked by 380% in one year. In the first two months of the year, Zoom has gained 2.2 million new users, a number greater than that the business acquired in the whole of 2019.


How AI is changing the dynamics of working remotely

Image credits: Unsplash.com

The use of artificial intelligence can help employees and employers manage the age of remote work in this time of economic and psychological distress. Machine powered assistance can mitigate the loss of worker productivity and push business back to peak performance.

The use of AI-powered remote work technology and communication tools can help workers displaced from their office setups by the epidemic to adjust to home workspaces. As an illustration, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many front line managers were struggling with unproductivity in the workplace.

As per a Gallup study, bad management was causing a loss of $400 billion worth of revenue from businesses in a year. These managers and their employees have been booted out from the office environment in a dramatic fashion, complicating the managers’ role in managing yield.

The day’s manager must learn how to work remotely first, something all employees were unprepared for. The risk of an increased loss of productivity is, therefore, remarkably high as morale amongst the workforces diminishes amid social isolation and self-distancing measures.

Fortunately, these looming losses can be mitigated via the use of AI-powered working remotely tools. Businesses need to emphasize the use of these tools as managers support employees facing rising home-based and economic pressures. 

AI tools can offer personalized, prioritized recommendations on employee management by tapping into a business’s pool of data. Such measures will help employees increase their productivity and protect their jobs.


The best AI remote tool stack for 2020

The choice of the best working remotely tools for your employees is comparable to the art of hiring the best person for the job. AI tools will streamline operations, structure, and hold your business together, keeping it on the road to maturity.

There are wide varieties of tools out there, which cater to different aspects of remote work. There are for instance AI tools that cater to;

  • Internal communications
  • Business management
  • Hiring
  • Business development
  • Internal communications
  • Communications with vendors and customers
  • Collaboration
  • Remote access


The best AI remote work tools

1. Slack

Slack

Slack is a 100% internal messaging bot that will keep your business’s data within its confines. The AI’s interface is fun to use and very user friendly. Through this app, your managers can initiate projects, deploy new code, hire an employee, finalize a budget, or review contracts.

The Slack bot will enhance reachability and productivity, building up a much-needed sense of togetherness for remote teams. The agile and intuitive app enhances communication by eliminating clutter. The employees can use it to play by sharing gifs, and work sharing codes, links, and files.


2. Zoom

Zoom

Zoom is one of the newest kids on the block in the world of teleconferencing. Businesses have, in the past, relied on other robust applications from Skype, Google, Cisco, and GoToMeeting in the past for video conferencing before Eric Yuan’s Zoom came by. Consequently, everyone thought that Zoom was stepping in into a saturated market.

Yuan, however, had one ace up his sleeve. His bot was enjoyable to use, unlike its buggy code filled opponents. Today Zoom is the most popular business-oriented video meeting app out there. The AI tool has features such as ease of setup, cloud recording, user management, and round the clock support.


3. Aira

Aira

In the meeting room of the future, remote teams will gather, collaborate, and generate ideas with the help of AI-powered tools. These platforms will improve the individual’s experience of the meeting room, making virtual post-it notes, and making idea suggestions.

AIRA is making this future a current reality. She is a virtual AI meeting assistant that will join web conferencing calls, take notes, and highlight all key action points for you. She will also share the meeting notes with all collaborators, ensuring that your focus stays on problem-solving and the conversations at hand. 


4. 1Password

1Password

One of the significant challenges that business entities have faced in the COVID-19 work from home environment is growing cybersecurity issues. Most organizations lack robust security protocols, experience, or technology for safe remote workforces. First, most employees do not know what the best work from home cybersecurity standards are. 

As an illustration, they will use access to public networks without a VPN or save sensitive business data on their gadgets.  Weak or stolen passwords can compromise the safety of the entire organization. 1Password is an AI bot that protects passwords for businesses. The bot stores all passwords in a secure hub and avails analytics on password access and usage.


5. Lattice

Lattice

Lattice is the perfect AI tool for performance management. Through it, you can trail your business’s goal tracking needs via a dedicated dashboard. Your remote employees will also flourish since Lattice has a useful “praise” feature that allows managers and their teams to publicly recognize each other’s efforts.

There are performance appraisals and people management tools that help to create high performing remote work teams while building winning cultures for businesses.


6. Toggl

Toggl

If your business’s employees working remotely are paid by the hour, with Toggl, you will have an effective and reliable time tracking tool. All that users of Toggl need to do is to click the start button to ensure that time spent on any project is well recorded. When they are done with the work, they will click on the bot’s stop button.

Its idle detection and tracking reminders mechanism will keep your workers more productive. It will also provide analytics of downtimes by client or project in an organized format. Toggl ensures that all employees are rewarded appropriately, giving real data about labor.


7. x.ai

The coordination of appointments, schedules, and meetings can be problematic in a remote work setting. Fortunately, AI tools such as x.ai can automate these processes and enhance productivity. The AI assistant tool, also known as Amy or Andrew, will connect with a team’s calendars and coordinate meeting times.

All team members will choose the best scheduled time as Amy’s coordination skills shine. You will find that the x.ai bot is very easy to delegate to and ultra-reliable.


Conclusion

The growing adoption of AI remote working tools is ensuring that employees can work reliably and safely in a changing work environment. They are encouraging a cultural change, transforming employee collaboration as office workers settle to a life away from the office. These tools are keeping teams engaged, driving the human element that employees thrive on.

Through them, team leaders and managers can keep motivating, interacting, and engaging staff compassionately and effectively. The remote working environment is no longer a prophecy for the future, but a working policy for the day, thanks to AI remote work tools.

The Top 10 AI Assistant Tools That Are Ruling the Roost Today

ai assistant tools

It is almost impossible to believe that ten years ago, Siri was the only voice assistant in the world. In one decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken over the world.

By 2019, we had over three billion voice assistants globally. It estimated that the world will have close to eight billion of these tireless and friendly AI assistant tools by 2023.

These rising figures prove that the AI assistant tool has become an indispensable feature in the office and home life. Humanity is becoming increasingly dependent on scheduling bots with conversational interfaces that help in maximizing efficiency. We need Alexa around us to play our favorite songs, and AIRA to sit in our meetings and take our notes for us.

There is an AI virtual assistant for just about any task under the sun. Consequently, these tools have become a facet of technology, making an appearance in office equipment, electronic home appliances, and vehicles.

This rapidly growing market will be worth over $118.6 billion by 2025 as large AI invested businesses like IBM, Samsung,  NVIDIA, Google, AWS, Facebook, and Microsoft battle it out for the customer.

Here are ten of the best AI assistant tools that you should get your hands on.

1. Siri

Siri

Siri was the world’s first voice assistant. This fantastic Apple feature started as an independent voice assistant app for the iPhone. The smart people at Apple saw its potential and acquired it in 2010, integrating it into the iPhone 4S.

Apple has kept a tight rein on Siri, limiting third-party developer access to it. This aspect might have throttled Siri’s abilities, but it is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of AI assistant tools.

Some of the Apple voice command feature includes its ‘Raise to Speak’ feature that automatically activates the iPhone’s call feature. Siri can:

  • Post to social media platforms
  • Dictate your posts
  • Do your math
  • Convert measurements for you
  • Save your notes to Evernote
  • Make reservations
  • Remember relationships and pronounce names like Saoirse and Mireille without butchering them
  • Siri can also give you the flight numbers of the planes above you

She’s a great assistant for Apple die-hards. But hey, what if you’re not an Apple fan? You can easily go for this next option…


2. Google Assistant

Google Assistant

Google got onto the mobile voice search technology in the 2000s, but its breakthrough came in 2011. At the time, Google Assistant was a minute microphone button. This simple feature has, over time, graduated into a robust voice technology assistant.

Google Assistant made a debut in 2016 and is today a leading player in the advanced virtual assistant’s sector. The AI tool has become a common feature on a wide range of home appliances, smartphones, cars, and headphones.

The natural language processing tool can perform voice searches, commands, device control, task assistance, real-time translation, and much more.  

You can use it to find your gadget, order your pizza, and screen your voice calls. The “Hey Google, read it” command can narrate web content. The app can amongst many other things, stream your favorite show on Netflix.


3. Cortana

Cortana

Cortana is an AI app from Microsoft named after Cortana, the Halo AI. Nevertheless, Cortana in Halo is 500 years away in the future so, she will be named after the Microsoft AI.

Yes, time travel is very confusing! Cortana, the Microsoft virtual assistant is available on Microsoft platforms. You will find her on Windows mobile, Windows 10, Microsoft Band, Xbox, and Windows Mixed Reality (MR).

She is also on Amazon Alexa and a wide variety of popular headsets such as the Sennheiser GSP350, HyperX CloudX, and the Razer Kraken 7.1 V2. This AI assistant tool provides reminders, answers questions, manages calendars, automates tasks, keeps notes, and offers hands-free assistance. 

Using natural language processing, Cortana can learn and manage complex tasks. She has also integrated data from the Bing search engine and over 400 million devices on the Microsoft network. Therefore, she offers personalized recommendations. Cortana is not purely a Windows AI but has an API that works with other third-party apps.


4. Alexa

Alexa

Amazon Alexa, simply known as Alexa hit the scene in 2014. At first, she powered the Amazon Echo Dot speaker’s ecosystem that runs on the Alexa app. Today, this AI assistant tool powers user communication with it via thousands of ‘skills’ or pre-set functions. For this reason, Alexa is that useful roommate that reminds you of all your important appointment and dates but does not steal your ketchup. 

She uses natural language processing and voice queries to offer services such as music playback, voice interaction, stream podcasts, create to-do lists or play audiobooks. Alexa can help you to skip the traffic gridlock, offering the fastest route to work. She will also talk to your pets while you are away and feed them, too.

Have writer’s block? Talk to Alexa and she will help you with her Writing Motivation skill.


5. Lyra

Lyra

Lyra is a personal assistant AI marketed as Indigo until 2017 when it got its catchy name. Perhaps named after Lyra Silvertongue of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra uses Material Design, which gives her an incredibly attractive look and feel for a simplified AI assistant tool.

Lyra can:

  • Search out YouTube videos
  • Find directions
  • Tell jokes
  • Set alarms
  • Manage your diary

…amongst a horde of other features.

She runs on iOS and Android systems and has a unique cross-platform functionality that allows her to engage in a conversation across different gadgets. She is a conversational, intelligent assistant designed as the Android’s ecosystem answer to Siri and can translate over 70 languages. Her multilingual abilities are astounding, and you can have her functioning across your laptop, desktop, phone, and tablet.


6. Bixby

Bixby

Bixby is an android AI assistant tool for Samsung devices. It is a decent personal assistant that runs a device’s web searches and Google Play app downloads. If you have gadgets from the Samsung proprietary hub, Bixby will support your smart tech as well.

Use its voice command features to send emails and texts. Bixby Voice is one of the most interesting features of this personal AI assistant.

It can adapt to your style of speaking, so you can issue commands in different variations and Bixby will provide an answer without any hitch. You can also view a personalized current activities reminder from Bixby Home, a social stream for all social media updates, reminders, and other relevant information.


7. Hendrix

Hendrix

Hendrix is an AI meeting assistant designed by Testfire Labs. Meeting assistance has become a crucial part of business, capturing the details of discussions accurately. Hendrix, will not only transcribe your meeting’s notes but archive them as well. This AI assistant tool will also create action items and place them on a searchable dashboard.

Since Hendrix will merge all your action items, meeting minutes, and history in one portal, you can relax during meetings and focus on being a productive part of the discussions at hand. Hendrix is compatible with a variety of conference providers such as Zoom, Uber Conference, Go to Meeting, WebEx, and other dial-in platforms.


8. Aira

Aira

In the not too far past, every team, office manager, business process, or function had an assistant. Their job was to take care of chores such as meeting scheduling, taking meeting notes, and other office tasks.

A personal assistants’ job was to support other office workers as they fulfilled the business’s core mandates. This scenario was replicated in offices worldwide…until the AI assistant tool came into the scene.

With intelligent meeting companions like AIRA on your side, you can now handle your meetings without worrying about a human assistant. AIRA will join your web conferencing calls, take your meeting notes, and share them with your group instantly. She will track all your online meetings, step in, and transcribe all that is mentioned. She integrates with CRMs such as Zapier and has a continuous upgrade process to ensure top-notch productivity.


9. Edison Assistant

Edison

Edison Assistant is an all-rounded AI assistant tool with a wide range of automation that will streamline your tasks and notifications. Edison has over 43 automations whose functions can compile your daily tasks, actions, and reminders in a single app.

It will also eliminate any duplicated or outdated contacts and send you reminders of birthdays via Facebook. You can also use Edison to manage your email inbox, create personalized alerts, and save plans to your calendar. It can send texts on your behalf when you are away from the office.


10. Hound

Hound

Hound, made by the SoundHound designers, is a voice assistant app powered by AI. You can have it on your iOS or Android apps and use it to search for data in your natural voice. Hound is powered by Houndify’s Speech-to-Meaning™ and Deep Meaning Understanding™ features that give accuracy to the answers that its users ask.

You can use Hound to make hands free phone calls, send texts, or retrieve weather and news information online. This AI assistant tool integrates with a wide variety of apps. You can use it to hail your Uber ride, book your flight, navigate to an address, or find a hotel.

Hound has an impressive array of clientele that include Motorola, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz.


Conclusion

Digital assistants are here to stay, as human personal assistants become a luxury for the elite. You can now automate your tasks and manage your time much better with their support. The technology is still in its growth stage, but it has so much to offer as it becomes smarter.

The choice of AI-powered tools out there is endless. However, this list has the best of them, pick your AI digital assistant, and enjoy automated and unrivaled intelligent support.

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