In the age of digital connectivity and remote work, video meetings have become a staple for businesses to maintain collaboration and communication. However, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, a new trend is emerging in the corporate world: bosses employing AI bots to enforce Zoom etiquette during these virtual gatherings.
These AI bots are designed to mediate, transcribe, and monitor meeting etiquette. While some primarily serve as silent notetakers or summarizers, others intervene to provide feedback on speakers’ delivery and engagement levels. For instance, an AI bot may prompt a speaker to vary their pitch to maintain the group’s interest.
While such AI interventions might be beneficial in certain situations, critics argue that they often lack the necessary nuance. Employees have recounted experiences where AI bots misinterpreted the context of a discussion, flagging technical or specialized conversations as monotonous. For instance, Josh Stir, a senior software development manager, expressed frustration when an AI criticized his pitch during a technical discussion on tax software intricacies.
Beyond concerns about AI misinterpretation, some find the use of these bots unsettling and eerie. The presence of faceless AI bots in a meeting room can create an uncomfortable and dystopian atmosphere, according to those who have encountered them. Others have noted that the introduction of AI bots can disrupt the natural flow of conversations and create an unusual power dynamic within meetings and the workplace.
Though it’s an interesting concept, it seems that present AI technology lacks the sophistication necessary to completely comprehend and adjust to the various dynamics of human interaction. Finding the ideal balance between technical support and human interaction is still difficult, so businesses must carefully assess how AI bots will affect the workplace as a whole. It will be interesting to watch how AI develops going forward to better support human connection and communication in the workplace.