Meeting Management

Meeting AI: Navigating the trends, buzzwords, and value of machines in meetings

Artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its way into many areas of working life - it is also relevant for meetings. We explain what is possible with its help and how it can best be used.

Robert Mitson
Robert Mitson

As technology continues to advance lightning speed, leaders are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve efficiency and streamline business operations. One area of corporate life that has seen significant improvements in recent years is meetings, and with artificial intelligence (AI) revolutionising entire industries, meetings are not immune. 

From scheduling and planning, to note-taking and analysis, AI is poised to upend the way meetings are conducted, making them more efficient, effective, and productive than ever before. However, while elements of deus ex machina will hold true, AI won’t ever replace the inherently human nature of meetings entirely. In fact, the AI will ultimately amplify the human components that underpin meetings — meaning that if things are good, they’ll be better — but if they’re suboptimal, then you’ll want to address things now. What’s more, AI needs to be adopted deliberately and selectively — and leaders should avoid simply “jumping on the bandwagon.” 

In this article, we’ll explore the various ways in which AI can be used in meetings and the benefits it offers — to help leaders cut through the noise and make informed decisions as to which elements of machine learning they should embrace. We’ll also outline the aspects of the human side of meetings that need to be addressed in order for AI to amplify clarity, rather than noise.

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The challenges that meeting AI can help overcome

Meetings are an essential aspect of modern businesses, but they often come with their fair share of challenges. From poor organisation to lack of participation, meetings can be a source of frustration and wasted time. However, AI technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach meetings and overcome many of these challenges.

Here are some of the most common challenges in meetings that AI can help to overcome:

  1. Poor organisation: One of the most significant challenges in meetings is poor organisation. Often, there is no clear agenda, and participants may not know what the meeting is about or what is expected of them. AI technology can help to create and distribute agendas, provide meeting reminders, and even assign tasks to participants before and after the meeting.

  2. Lack of engagement: Many meetings suffer from a lack of engagement, with participants zoning out or not contributing to the discussion. AI-powered tools can help to increase engagement by providing interactive elements such as real-time polling, quizzes, and virtual whiteboards. These tools can help to keep participants engaged and focused throughout the meeting.

  3. Time management: Meetings can easily go over time, leading to frustration and lost productivity. AI technology can help to manage time by setting clear start and end times for the meeting, as well as tracking time spent on each agenda item. This can help to keep the meeting on track and ensure that all important topics are covered within the allotted time.

  4. Language barriers: In global organisations, language barriers can be a significant challenge in meetings. AI-powered translation tools can help to bridge this gap by providing real-time translation services for participants who speak different languages. This can help to ensure that everyone can fully participate in the meeting and contribute their ideas.

  5. Information overload: Meetings can be overwhelming, with participants struggling to keep up with the volume of information being presented. AI technology can help to manage information overload by providing automated note-taking and summarization services. These tools can help to ensure that participants can review and understand the key takeaways from the meeting.

  6. Bias and discrimination: Inclusive meetings are critical for the success of any organisation, but unconscious bias and discrimination can be a significant challenge. AI-powered tools can help to reduce bias by providing objective feedback and analysis. For example, AI tools can analyse language used in the meeting to identify potential biases or flag discriminatory language.

  7. Follow-up and accountability: Often, after the meeting, there is a lack of follow-up and accountability, with tasks left undone and no clear plan for next steps. AI technology can help to manage follow-up and accountability by automatically assigning tasks and tracking progress. This can help to ensure that important action items are completed and that everyone is accountable for their responsibilities.

AI technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach meetings and overcome many of the challenges that we face. By using AI-powered tools, we can improve organisation, increase engagement, manage time more effectively, bridge language barriers, manage information overload, reduce bias and discrimination, and improve follow-up and accountability. 

Let’s dive into some of the ways that AI can already help in meetings. 


How meeting AI can help

The rise of fields of machine learning, especially large language models and computer vision, has been meteoric. The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ that has been long-promised but little-realised, seems to finally be arriving. The ability to automate aspects of work, from writing emails to reading faces for biometric security. Let’s look at some of the ways that AI can be used in meetings: 

Scheduling and Planning

One of the most time-consuming aspects of any meeting is the scheduling and planning process. Coordinating schedules and availability can be a daunting task, especially when participants are located in different time zones or have conflicting commitments.

AI technology can help to simplify this process by automating the scheduling and planning process. Tools like and Clara use natural language processing (NLP) to understand the context of email conversations and can schedule meetings on behalf of their users. This means that all participants can be seamlessly added to a meeting without any manual intervention.

In addition, AI-powered scheduling tools can take into account each participant's calendar availability and preferences, and suggest meeting times that work for everyone. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of scheduling conflicts and last-minute cancellations.

Note-Taking and Transcription

Another important aspect of any meeting is note-taking and transcription. However, manual note-taking can be time-consuming, and transcription errors can occur, leading to inaccurate records of the meeting.

AI-powered transcription tools like and Rev can automatically transcribe meetings and convert them into written notes, eliminating the need for manual note-taking. These tools use advanced speech recognition technology to capture every word spoken during the meeting accurately.

In addition, AI-powered transcription tools can also identify speakers, making it easier to attribute comments and ideas to the correct participant. This not only saves time but also ensures that the meeting records are accurate and reliable.

Analysis and Action Items

After a meeting is conducted, the real work begins. Participants need to review the meeting notes and take action on any follow-up items that were discussed. However, reviewing and analysing meeting notes can be a time-consuming process, especially when there are multiple participants and topics discussed.

AI-powered analysis tools like Workfit and Fireflies can automatically analyse meeting notes and identify key action items and next steps. These tools use natural language processing to identify important topics and keywords and then provide a summary of the meeting highlights and action items.

In addition, AI-powered analysis tools can also identify patterns and trends in meeting notes, such as recurring issues or themes. This can help organisations to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about how to optimise their meeting processes.

Virtual Assistants

AI-powered virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are also being used to streamline meeting processes. These tools can be used to schedule meetings, send reminders, and even take meeting notes on behalf of their users.

Virtual assistants can also be integrated with other AI-powered tools, such as transcription and analysis tools, to provide a more seamless and integrated meeting experience.


The human foundations of meeting AI

Amidst the technological advancements, it is crucial not to overlook the human component of utilising AI in meetings. While AI brings efficiency and automation to various tasks, it is the human touch that adds depth and context to these interactions.

One of the key human components in using AI in meetings is the ability to interpret and apply the insights generated by AI systems.

AI can process vast amounts of data and provide valuable recommendations, but it is up to humans to analyse and make informed decisions based on this information.

Human judgement, creativity, and critical thinking skills are essential to interpret AI-generated insights in the context of the organisation's goals and values.

Human connection

The human element plays a vital role in fostering meaningful connections and building rapport among meeting participants. AI tools can facilitate communication and streamline processes, but they cannot replicate the nuances of human interaction. Empathy, emotional intelligence, and active listening are fundamental human traits that contribute to effective collaboration and understanding during meetings.

What’s more, the ability to navigate the politics and intricacies of human behaviour as a meeting leader will remain a core competency for executives. 

Meeting best practices

The human component is responsible for setting the agenda, defining objectives, and ensuring that AI systems are aligned with the meeting's purpose. While AI can automate certain tasks, humans must provide the strategic direction and establish the framework within which AI operates. 

If you haven’t mastered the process of setting meeting goals, formulating effective agendas, and leading effective meetings, then AI will likely only exacerbate these inadequacies. These building blocks need to be solid before you make the decision to implement any AI for meetings. 


Meeting AI: Here to stay — but proceed with intention

AI is seemingly inescapable, and, as you can see, it has huge potential to further optimise the arena of meetings. While we never will — and never should — remove the human component from corporate life, machine learning can be used to optimise parts of the process that can otherwise be repetitive or unnecessary laborious. 

By selectively embracing components of the AI universe in our meetings, it is possible to unlock greater space for the aspects of corporate life that can’t be automated — like human creativity, emotional intelligence, connection, and problem solving — while the machines take care of some of the busy work.

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Robert Mitson
Robert Mitson
About the author
Robert is passionate about shaping and communicating value, and in his work as English Content Specialist he creates insight to help leaders across Europe to make every meeting count.