We’ve all been there
Running a meeting and taking notes the traditional way is tough. You’re sharing a demo with your computer, taking notes in a paper notebook, asking people to repeat themselves to write it all down. Maybe you’re sharing your screen and furiously flipping between your browser tabs to show the web app and take notes in a Google Doc.
There has to be a better way!
Silicon Valley buzz words will save us
- Artificial Intelligence
- Big Data
- Natural Language Processing
- Machine Learning
- Predictive Analytics
AI note taking services are taking the business world by storm, and I tested out two services in a week’s worth of Zoom calls to see how useful they could be in a meeting: Voicea and Otter.ai.
How did they compare?
- Powered by the same technology that Zoom uses to transcribe recordings
- More like a court stenographer
- Every word is captured with little context
- Keywords based on the meeting were interesting (and fairly accurate)
- More context is captured
- Listens for pre-determined trigger words to highlight text snippets in the transcription
- Requires more active use (telling the tool to capture a key point for instance)
The final verdict
Neither tool was really revolutionary in how I captured notes. Since the end result was mostly a transcription, I never felt compelled to read through hours of meeting text. If you’re looking for meeting transcripts, I think both do a pretty admirable job, but I’d encourage you to read them through and edit them before sharing them widely. For now I’ll stick with taking my own notes and capturing the items I find important.
Update: Voicea has since been acquired by Cisco and is integrated into Webex as Webex Assistant. Otter.ai now has a much tighter integration with Zoom and can provide live transcription of a meeting. The tool you pick now might just depend on which video conferencing service you’re using.