Voice transcription service powered by artificial intelligence Otter.ai would like to make it even easier for its business users to record meetings. Otter Assistant, a new function introduced today by the company, will automatically enter Zoom meetings on your calendar, transcribe the discussions, and exchange the notes with other participants. While Otter.ai is already integrated with Zoom, the assistant is designed to make transcription something you don’t have to constantly remember to activate at the start or disable at the end of the meeting, while also serving as a place where participants can interact by asking questions, exchanging images, and more while the meeting is in progress.
The functionality also circumvents Zoom’s previous constraint, which enabled only the meeting host to use the Otter.ai integration directly.
The concept of automating meeting transcription makes sense in the remote work climate generated by the pandemic, where people have been juggling work, childcare, homeschooling, and other responsibilities. This sometimes results in meetings where users are drawn away and forget what was said. That is one environment in which Otter.ai can assist. However, it may also assist with problems such as simultaneous meetings or broader meetings where only a few subjects are specifically applicable to your job — so you’d prefer to be able to revisit the remainder of the meeting conversation later, rather than in real-time.
Users must first synchronise their Google Calendar or Microsoft Calendar with Otter’s service before they can use the new Otter Assistant. For the sake of accountability, the assistant will then automatically attend all future Zoom meetings where it acts as an extra meeting member.
In the Zoom chat, the assistant also posts a connection to the transcription for all to use. In other words, this is not a function for skipping meetings without informing your boss; rather, it is intended for situations in which everyone has already decided that the meeting will be transcribed.
Attendees will use Otter’s live transcript to highlight important points, add pictures, and take notes as the meeting progresses. They may also ask questions through the commenting function rather than speaking up, which could be useful if you are in a noisy environment at the time of the meeting.
You don’t have to remember to toggle on Otter.ai for each meeting once the assistant is allowed, and you can even listen to the meeting while wearing headphones. Both sides of the interaction will also be recorded by the Otter Assistant.
However, you can disable Otter Assistant on a per-meeting basis via the Otter website’s “My Agenda” section, which will include new toggles next to each meeting you have scheduled.
When meetings end, Otter.ai can be set to automatically share the meeting notes with all participants.
Otter.ai Business users may access the Otter Assistant, which includes features such as two-factor authentication, SOC2 enforcement, advanced search, export, personalised vocabulary, shared speaker recognition, unified data and billing, and more.
Otter.ai claims to have transcribed over 150 million meetings to date, up from 100 million at the start of 2021. The company does not disclose its total user base, but it did previously state that it saw an 8x rise in sales in 2020, leading up to its $50 million Series B, which was announced in February.