Feb 13, 2024 - Technology

Otter releases new features for its AI meeting assistant

A screenshot of a new feature in Otter that allows the AI engine to search across meetings.

A screenshot of a new feature in Otter that allows the AI engine to search across meetings. Image: Otter

Transcription software company Otter announced a significant boost to its AI features on Tuesday, including the ability for its AI bot to join text-based chats and to use the technology to search across one's entire meeting history.

Why it matters: Otter wants to shift its app from a tool people use to get meeting transcripts to one workers turn to for a wide range of information.

Details: In the first of the new features, Otter's AI chatbot, which has been able to answer a wide range of natural-language queries about a specific meeting, will now be able to answer questions based on all of a user's meeting transcripts.

  • Otter offers channels and direct messages for co-workers to collaborate. Now its chatbot will also be able to participate in those text-based channels.
  • There's also an AI-generated conversation summary that works in real-time during a meeting to identify and track action items, including who is delegated to a task and what the deadline is.
  • All three features are included in the company's existing free and paid subscription products. The ability to search across meetings and the AI summaries are available now, while the AI chat in channels feature is starting to roll out for some users and will roll out to others in the coming weeks.

Between the lines: Otter is positioning itself as both more affordable than its rivals — since it isn't charging extra for AI features — and more powerful than the capabilities being added to programs like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. Plus, it works across meetings that take place in any of those apps.

Yes, but: Microsoft and Google's AI assistants also work in areas where Otter doesn't have products, including email and productivity apps.

What's next: Otter is working on allowing chatbots to contribute to live meetings potentially later this year, CEO Sam Liang told Axios.

  • Eventually, Liang sees a world in which each person will have their own chatbot that can pipe in insights and perspective based on its knowledge of how the person has interacted in the past.
  • And while right now Otter only searches data in meetings, Liang said the company is working on how to bring in information from Slack, email and other sources.
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