Meetings, Work & AI
In the fast-paced world of AI development, it can sometimes feel like trying to find solid ground in the midst of a whirlwind of potentially world-changing innovations. In the realm of technology, especially with the constant buzz of new cycles, it can be challenging to distinguish between hype and truly meaningful, long-lasting progress. However, when it comes to AI, the impact is undeniably tangible, and it's happening right now, almost on an hourly basis, through incredible examples of innovation that were unimaginable just a few months ago.
One area of AI advancement that's rapidly evolving is its integration into our communication methods, leading to a significant boost in efficiency and productivity. Several key technologies, including recording, transcription, summarization AI, and LLMs, have converged to create a pivotal moment in the way we communicate and work.
This amalgamation of technologies is what we refer to as "Real-time Meeting AI."
Real-time Meeting AI: The new era of meetings
To set the context, think of Real-time Meeting AI as having a super-smart assistant by your side during meetings. This assistant listens carefully, takes personalized notes on important stuff, predicts what tasks you'll need to do afterward, and even starts doing them for you right then and there. So, while you're in the meeting, this magical assistant is making sure you've got great records and handling all the follow-up work that usually eats up a lot of your time.
What's really amazing is that all the info for this is already in the meetings we do every day; we're just not using it to its full potential.
Meetings have been talk about work, not work itself.
Up until now, meetings have been talk about work. And in fact, this is at the core of why meetings have become so maligned in recent years. The work is not actually being done in meetings; we are largely talking about the work that is going to be done.
With real-time AI, meetings are no longer just talking about work—the talking is creating the work.
Imagine a world where discussing a task in a meeting automatically triggers its creation, description, tracking, and completion. All those tedious post-meeting manual tasks that devour hours of your precious time each week? Gone. How many times have we muttered, "I need to email 'X' about 'Y' after this call"? Now, your assistant understands, drafts, and lets you edit and send that email in real-time.
In today's meetings, we inherently possess the information needed for this seamless process. That's why we gather in the first place – to converse, collaborate, share ideas, context, and chart our next steps. We delve into valuable details, only to discard 99% of that information, forcing us to reinvent the wheel after the meeting concludes.
This antiquated system of communication and work is incredibly inefficient, explaining the frustration meetings often evoke. Real-time meeting AI promises a transformative shift: when meetings are harnessed effectively, they become a powerhouse of productivity. No longer a platform to merely discuss work, but a place to actively engage in the work itself.
The issue with meetings and their importance to modern work
Meetings play a crucial role in our organization's success, serving as the breeding ground for important ideas and fostering collaborative communication.
Recently, online meetings have become indispensable, even surpassing their role in traditional office settings. While some teams excel in remote work, others face challenges.
Meetings have received criticism due to their overuse, leading to frustration. This frustration is closely linked to the fact that meetings are being treated as catch-all communication channels (particularly in the remote arena) and that there are largely inefficient uses of time.
In their current form, meetings are dramatically leaky buckets of information - in many cases, we lose 99% of the information in meetings, often just limited to whatever we can remember.
If we take notes, we capture a little more, if we record the call or transcribe a little more again - but even with recordings, there are limits to its utility.
Shopify and the crusade against meetings
As a testament to how organizations are reevaluating their approach to meetings, Shopify made a bold public declaration about slashing their meeting load. They notably saved a staggering 322,000 hours of meeting time for their 10,000 remote employees. This achievement was made possible by reducing the number of meetings and establishing clear guidelines on when and why meetings should take place. They've shifted to asynchronous communication for routine updates, reserving dedicated meeting time for crucial discussions and decisions.
The primary advantage reported by employees is that fewer meetings grant them more time to dive into actual work. It underscores the idea that meetings often come at the expense of doing the real work.
This widespread discontent with meetings is not limited to Shopify; it resonates with countless workers globally, a sentiment that has gained momentum since the pandemic-induced shift to remote work.
Why Real-time Meeting AI ushers in a new era of meetings and work
With the introduction of Real-Time Meeting AI, it's practically inevitable that meetings will shed their reputation as mundane, often dreaded necessities of the modern work landscape. Instead, they are poised to evolve into something far more valuable. Meetings are on the brink of becoming catalysts for productivity within organizations, a place where conversations about work seamlessly translate into the actual creation of work itself.
Gone will be the days of employees feeling bogged down by meetings hindering their progress, because now the meetings are actively contributing to their workload. Interestingly, this newfound efficiency may even prompt companies like Shopify to consider having more meetings, as in the era of Real-Time Meeting AI, talking becomes synonymous with getting the work done.