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Zoom’s AI Assistant

Zoom’s AI assistant

Since late 2023, I have been exploring the use of Zoom’s AI assistant to make my calls better.

Here is how the assistant has been helping me:

  • Taking notes: The best feature of the AI tool is of course that it joins the meeting as a secretary and takes the minutes of the meeting.
  • Summary: Not only does the AI tool take the minutes, it also gives a summary of the meeting at the top of the minutes.
  • Making a list of agreements: At the end of the minutes, the tool creates a list of agreements and who volunteered to do what.
  • Being able to retrieve information: You can also chat with the AI assistant during the meeting to ask questions about what was discussed before.

In theory, all these features are very helpful. However, I have made the following observations:

  • Struggles with large groups: The best summaries and lists of agreements I received from one-on-one calls. With large groups, the tool seems to get lost in who is saying what and when.
  • Struggles with non-native English speakers: I have received summaries where Zoom told me that it seemed the meeting was not conducted in English (thank you, Zoom, for making me painfully aware of my Flemish accent). Where it was able to detect English, it struggles a lot with non-native speakers and those who do not have a US accent.
  • Struggles when more people use one device: When two or more colleagues use the same device, it cannot distinguish the speakers and assigns everything to the one device, which makes the minutes very confusing.
  • Makes up stuff: Instead of admitting that it didn’t hear something well (as I do at times when taking meeting minutes and the bandwidth goes down or people talk at the same time), the AI tool simply goes ahead and makes things up.
  • Privacy: A major issue here is as well: how safe is it to activate Zoom’s AI assistant to take notes and save this information on Zoom’s servers when you are discussing sensitive topics?

All in all, I think that at certain times the AI assistant can be helpful, but it is wise to think twice before activating it (depending on the contents and context) and to be mindful of its hallucinations.

Have you used Zoom’s AI assistant?

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