Vowel Wants You To Stop Taking Meeting Notes, As It Rolls Out AI-Powered Summaries

Vowel Wants You To Stop Taking Meeting Notes, As It Rolls Out AI-Powered Summaries

In a new feature rollout, Vowel is leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence to offer automated meeting summaries.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 models power the functionality, though the company built custom features on top of that to better derive context and metadata. A meeting’s structure, topics, sentiment, and most relevant components can be uncovered using these features.

In my chat with Vowel CEO Andy Berman and Anna Marie Clifton, Head of Product for Vowel, the AI generated an accurate and fairly detailed summary of our conversation, minus a few typos. Users can easily edit summaries after the AI generates them if an error occurs or to clean up the messaging.

Vowel’s Business plan offers this feature, which automatically generates summaries after every call. Using the new functionality, business professionals can save time on admin work or catch up team members who may have missed meetings.

Berman acknowledges that hype surrounding ChatGPT has helped accelerate interest in generative AI.

“Until ChatGPT came out, nobody believed AI worked,” he said. “So from a marketing message and a marketing perspective, we never thought to talk about AI.”

In Clifton’s view, AI can’t simply be added to a product to make it successful. A product must first be good, and then AI can be used to enhance it.

“If you haven’t been thinking about what makes a good product, AI is not going to instantaneously make a product good.”

Even the most loyal Zoom user would swoon over the features Vowel currently offers natively in the platform. There is no need to download any applications in order to run meetings with Vowel. It also comes with live transcription, recording, and sharing features without the need for an extension, or a premium upgrade.

Berman had regular working meetings with remote teams at Nanit in 2018, a baby monitor company he co-founded. That’s when Vowel was born.

Later on, he was introduced to Clifton, who had worked at Asana, Coinbase, and Yammer in product roles. The two embraced the challenges in remote work and strategized together how to overcome them.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, Berman was on the lookout for a tool that could help him collaborate more effectively in a digital environment.

Previously, Berman worked as a venture capitalist for Norwest Venture Partners, where he was well acquainted with the video conferencing and collaboration space. His firm invested in BlueJeans, which was eventually acquired by Verizon, and LifeSize.

Yet he felt that these platforms could offer more than just standard conferencing features.

Berman tells me, “Right after we had invested in BlueJeans, I sat there and said, ’There’s gotta be a better way to collaborate. How do we build a company that focuses on the future of work?”


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