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AI in business: the missing link to workplace productivity

By Zvonimir Rac

How many times do we catch ourselves saying: “what’s the temperature outside,” “what’s a good place to eat nearby” and even, “remind me to call dad this afternoon.” Chances are, we are more likely to ask that question to a smartphone than another person.

When artificial intelligence (AI) assistants like Siri and Alexa started to emerge, we were able to get answers to these questions much faster and with greater accuracy thanks to natural language processing (NLP). This functionality works great on the consumer end of things, but this is only a fraction of what AI and NLP was the capacity to do. We now have the opportunity to use a different kind of AI on the business side allowing us to reduce the burden on employees.

With today’s fast-paced business climate, there's more competition than ever, putting pressure on employees to get answers and complete their work faster, with little to no margin for error.

Sound exhausting? It is.

Now, imagine if AI could perform all of those menial, time-consuming tasks for us, with the same immediacy and accuracy we already enjoy on the consumer side, but in practical, modern-day business applications.

There's a huge opportunity to automate brain-taxing tasks in ways that minimize wasted time, uphold staff accountability, and improve workplace productivity, allowing us to focus on higher-level work that matters. This is especially true when it comes to remedying the most common inhibitor to daily workplace productivity – meetings.

 

Meetings: where office productivity goes to die.

 

Ideally, meetings bring people together to discuss ideas, find solutions, and inspire action that achieves business goals.

Ideally.

But, the way we conduct our meetings today simply doesn’t work.

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Did you know…

  • Most employees sit in more than 60 meetings a month.
  • Executives believe two-thirds of meetings are a complete failure.
  • Meetings collectively waste almost $40 billion a year.

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Luckily, AI assistants, like our own Hendrix.ai, are making their way into the boardrooms around the globe, to help remedy this exact problem.

 

AI meeting assistants to the rescue

 

When it comes to hosting meetings, it’s always a good idea to have some tips in our toolbelt. Knowing how to prepare for a meeting before it starts, how to guide our team during the meeting, and what to do afterwards will get us 75 per cent of the way there.

And AI assistants can move us over the finish line. Here are some benefits of inviting AI assistant into a meeting:

 

Before a meeting...

An AI assistant can:

  • Automatically pull documents to help prepare attendees by providing context from previous meetings in a concise, point-form list.
  • Drive behavioural changes by creating meetings people actually want to attend.
  • Remove people from a meeting if they aren’t required to be there, and add people who can provide stronger and more relevant input.

 

During a meeting...

With NLP, an AI can: 

  • Listen and automatically transcribe everything that is being said.
  • Jot notes, assign action items, record who is attending the meeting, and time its duration.
  • Eliminate the language barrier by providing a live translation for attendees who communicate most effectively in a different language.

 

After a meeting:

An AI assistant will:

  • Summarize the entire meeting’s transcription, record assigned action items to specific individuals, and capture key data points in a concise, point-form document.
  • Archive rich data sets from all meetings happening throughout an organization and present high-level data with easily digestible visuals and graphs.
  • Classify all the meeting data and index it, so meeting notes can be found and shared instantaneously with a quick keyword search.

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By inviting AI assistants into the boardromo, we can not only help reduce unmanageable workloads and employee burnout, but we also:

  • Enhance staff morale
  • Facilitate a more efficient meeting process
  • Nurture staff accountability and divvy up tasks more equally
  • Reduce communication errors
  • Improve productivity and ultimately enhance revenue and profit margins

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To recap:

 

Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are improving every day. While we already enjoy this technology on a consumer scale - a la Alexa, Siri, and Duplex - there is great opportunity to leverage this technology on the business side. Granted, it might take a little time for employees to welcome meetings with open arms, but there are steps we can take to help lessen the burden that meetings can often deliver. With AI meeting assistants, we can prevent further distraction, reduce stress, and significantly increase accountability and productivity across all industry sectors.

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