Meeting spaces are changing. That’s not exactly news at this point, but what is interesting is the new technology that’s emerging to alter the way we make connections. Soon, experts believe that we’ll be in the view of AI systems from the moment we walk into a conference room until the second that we walk out.
Conference room tech that knows how to record and assess facial expressions for signs of anxiety, anger, or boredom is on the horizon. That means that every time you yawn, check Facebook, or simply sigh with frustration, your response will be recorded.
Meetings with the Bots
In 2017, we began to explore the idea that experts should be able to walk into a meeting room and simply ask your AI to start the meeting using a verbal command, just like you’d ask Alexa to order you a pizza at home. While this option is already appearing in the business world thanks to Alexa for Business, there’s more to the future of AI than voice commands.
Once you’ve started your meeting, your AI also has the potential to figure out who’s running the meeting, who the attendees are, and whether they’re engaged in the conversation. All it needs is a camera and some facial recognition technology. Already, developers are working on giving AI the eyes it needs to understand the context of a meeting, take notes, and assign action items to attendees.
The market is already beginning to explore this option. Not so long ago, we saw the launch of the Cisco Spark Assistant, which leverages conversational technology from MindMeld to address the circumstances of a meeting space. Right now, Spark Assistant will only be able to take part in basic tasks, but in the future, it will be able to do things like find important documents or help a speaker share a screen instantly. It can also learn from the actions of your organisation to process information outside of Spark.
Always On, Always Watching
As exciting as the concept of Machine Vision might be to business leaders, it also means that the average employee will need to bring their game face to every conference. Similar to face and voice recognition software, machine vision uses signal processing and cameras to collect important data which can be analysed by a computer or business network.
Just like the sentiment analysis in customer calls, the eyes in the meeting room will be able to understand the behaviour of attendees in the meeting room, translating it into a guide that can be used for the next conference. Additionally, sentiment analysis may also be layered in in the future, so that even your tone of voice can be processed when you’re feeling less than happy at the office.
Soon, we’ll all need to be more careful about what we do in the meeting room – as it’s not just our bosses that will be watching!