How to Use AI to Elevate Online Meetings

Four ways AI can be used to boost productivity and streamline collaboration during virtual events.

Even before working from home became the new norm, video conferencing solutions had been used to reduce travel expenses and save time. Now, virtual meetings have become the go-to solution for driving collaboration and improving operational efficiency across industries.

As video conferencing becomes an indispensable part of any business, companies are looking for ways to enhance their solutions with advanced capabilities and improve communication even further. That's where artificial intelligence comes into play. 

As AI becomes more mature, it has the potential to take online video conferencing to the next level. Below are four ways AI can be used to make virtual meeting rooms more intelligent, efficient and secure. 

Noise Suppression

Background noises like keyboard typing, door slamming, dogs barking or a noisy HVAC system are not only irritating, but can also distract listeners and interfere with their ability to follow the conversation in an online meeting. Luckily, there are pre-trained machine learning algorithms that can recognize and suppress background noises, significantly improving the overall video conferencing experience.

Acknowledging the importance of high-quality video calls, Google has rolled out an AI-powered noise suppression feature for its Google Meet service. Colloquially known as the denoiser, this feature helps intelligently filter our background distractions for a more productive virtual conference. Microsoft too keeps up with the competitors and implements real-time noise suppression in its Teams meetings.

Speech Recognition

Another AI capability that can significantly enhance the online meeting experience is speech recognition. By accurately converting speech into text, AI-powered algorithms can create live captions and generate meeting transcripts, eliminating any chance of miscommunication.

Otter, a speech-to-text transcription company, is making significant strides in that direction. It has launched a new live video captioning service for video calls and webinars on Zoom. This collaboration not only provides a useful transcript of the conference, but also makes the meeting more accessible to those who are deaf, hard of hearing or non-native English speakers.

In-Meeting Digital Assistants

Conversational AI is already a part of our everyday life. Now, voice-powered assistants are finding a way to bring Alexa-like experiences into the enterprise collaboration world. AI-driven digital assistants can provide alerts of upcoming meetings, help attendees join or leave an event, and pull up up-to-date contact information — all to make the meeting experience more seamless and take some tasks off of the planner's plate.

Cisco is pioneering the use of cognitive collaboration technology to transform business communications. Webex Assistant is a personal in-meeting assistant that leverages AI and natural language processing to help with notes, highlights, follow-ups and more.

AI-Powered Analytics

AI's strong suit, advanced analytics, can also be used to improve the reliability of an online meeting. By continuously monitoring networks and endpoints, AI-driven predictive analytics solutions can provide real-time performance updates, detect anomalies and forecast performance degradation, allowing IT specialists to step in before meeting participants are affected by a bad connection or other technology issues.

In addition, meeting room analytics can be useful for tracking audience engagement during video conferencing by keeping tabs on digital interactions, as well as who is speaking and when. Throw AI-powered emotion analytics into the mix, and you'll be able to unearth even deeper insights and gain a better understanding of each attendee's behavior.

Olga Ezzheva is a technical writer at Oxagile, a software development company. A tech enthusiast, Olga covers a host of topics — from Big Data and machine learning to computer vision — while focusing on innovative ways to leverage technology for business growth.