Otter AI Lets You Skip Death By PowerPoint
Otter is making it even easier to avoid time-sapping business meetings by sending an AI assistant on your behalf.
The company’s new OtterPilot feature sits in the background of online business meetings. Not only does it provide a full transcript of what’s said in the meeting, but it automatically takes notes on proceedings, summarizing the key talking points. The transcript now also include any slides shown during the meeting, meaning those who can’t attend the meeting don’t miss out on any key information provided on the slides.
Otter founder Sam Liang says the new feature will help cut down on the time employees spend in wasteful meetings. “People spend 30% of their time in enterprises going to meetings,” he said.
“And about 30% of those meetings they attend actually are not necessary. People are wasting tonnes of time and tonnes of money.”
Capturing data on slides
Otter’s new facility to automatically embed slides into transcripts and meeting notes is more than simple screengrabs. “We’re using AI to automatically capture slides,” said Liang. “It automatically knows which slides are unique, which slides are new. It will be able to use the content in the slides to enrich the meeting notes and enrich the meeting summary as well. So, it not only listens [to the conversations in the meeting], it actually reads the content in the slides as well.”
What’s more, the OtterPilot feature will be available in all tiers of the company’s product, including the free ‘Basic’ tier. “We’d like as many people to benefit from the new AI features as possible,” said Liang.
Facing down Microsoft Teams
Otter’s new feature announcements come in the same month that Microsoft added AI transcript and meeting summary features to Teams, after Microsoft renewed its partnership with ChatGPT creators, OpenAI.
Liang said he doesn’t view Microsoft’s AI tools as a major threat. “I think it’s healthy competition,” he said. “You see OpenAI doing something super-impressive, then Google responding in some way and it’s an arms race.”
Liang pointed to the company’s long history of using AI to transcribe meetings for businesses and how that historic data could give it a key advantage over Microsoft and other AI competitors.
“We’re building the AI to make the enterprise workflow much more efficient, much more intelligent,” said Liang. “The Otter AI is able to provide answers to proprietary, customizable information.”
“I’ve been using AI in Otter for six years,” he added. “I talked to a lot of venture capitalists, I talked to a lot of candidates when we interviewed them. Our internal meetings, I attend in Otter. So somebody could… even if I’m on vacation, ask my Otter assistant some questions in a meeting and it should be able to answer that question based on my knowledge in the past.”
Liang stressed the ability to query other people’s assistants is still in development, but that “it will be coming”.