Workers who hate sitting in endless dreary meetings will soon be able to send a robot to take their place instead.
New software has been launched which allows staff to substitute in artificial intelligence (AI) assistants to video meetings and make notes for them.
Google’s Duet AI is designed to give employees an alternative to cancelling meetings when they have a last-minute change of plan or are forced to attend a different call.
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But some bosses fear lazy workers will use the chatbot – which can also present talking points on its human instructor’s behalf – as a way of getting out of meetings they don’t want to attend.
Will Richmond-Coggan, a partner at national law firm Freeths, said: “This type of technology might look like a godsend for workers up to their eyeballs in endless video meetings, but it comes with a range of risks for the business.
“Obviously there’s a danger of people skipping meetings thinking that the chatbot can summarise what was said.
“Or the chatbot might miss the significance of important points, or misrecord key decisions.”
Martijn van Nieuwenhoven, publisher of AI news website neuralnetworkpress.com, said the software should be integrated into workplaces but not replace humans, saying: “While AI has its merits, it cannot and should not be seen as a crutch.
“We must avoid the pitfall of seeing it as a replacement for human engagement and responsibility.”
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But some AI experts believe sending a bot to a boring meeting is the sign of a smart worker, not a lazy one.
David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.ai, an AI tool that can create or clone voices, said: ‘’A common misconception, which I find amusing, is the idea that embracing AI equates to laziness.
“In reality, it’s the total opposite. Leveraging such technology is the hallmark of a smart worker, one who understands that it’s better to delegate mundane tasks and use their energy where it matters most.’
’Nick Swan, founder of SEOTesting.com, which analyses website traffic, added: “Over time, if participants start relying solely on the AI-generated summaries and video clips without actively participating in meetings, the risk of reduced engagement and collaboration could emerge.
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“This is more of a cultural and behavioural concern rather than a flaw in the technology itself.”Kelly Indah, editor-in-chief at Increditools, a website which reviews new software, said the tech could be more efficient than human notetakers which can miss key points in meetings.
She said: “The mere assurance that an AI is diligently capturing the essence of each discussion can be a weight off their shoulders. And sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to boost productivity.”
The software automatically records and scans what people say at meetings and is designed to make workers be more productive by stopping them concentrating on taking notes themselves.
Those who turn up late for meetings can ask a chatbot for details about what they have missed and see video clips of key moments
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