I recently installed Voicea’s EVA assistant on my computer, although I wasn’t sure what the result was going to be. I do that—install applications I know little about so I can “bang” on them to see what the benefits, challenges, etc., might be. To see how I might use them and predict how you might use them. With EVA, I was hoping to have my meeting notes captured. Anything more than that was going to be a bonus.
According to its site, “Voicea is a voice collaboration platform. Voicea provides EVA, the enterprise voice assistant, to take notes in meetings, listening for what’s important, and activates it for you and your team.”
In recent years, voice-activated digital technologies have replaced personal assistants. Many of us rely on these so-called virtual assistants to perform tasks that historically were performed by humans—such as managing correspondence, taking dictation, scheduling appointments, placing phone calls, and reminding us about upcoming commitments.
These virtual assistants make my workday easier. They help me stay on track with project milestones, and keep me on schedule with meetings and appointments. They read my e-mail aloud for me, let me respond verbally, and send my response. They also help me learn. I’m always asking Alexa, Siri, or Google Home to teach me something new. Well, I learned something extraordinary when I started using the EVA voice assistant.
WELCOMING A NEW WORKFLOW
After installing the app on my desktop computer, I launched a Zoom meeting with a colleague. EVA immediately popped up on the screen within Zoom, and transcribed everything we were saying into meeting notes. My colleague was taken a bit off guard (I had no time to alert her to this recent install), but after a few minutes, we both got used to seeing our comments transcribed. The transcription results were not perfect, but they were pretty close.
After our meeting, I went into my Voicea dashboard and was pleasantly surprised. Along with meeting notes (which I can download), I had access to meeting highlights and insights—where the power of this platform comes to life. Voicea breaks insights down into strong reactions, action items, questions, sales process, business jargon, points of contention, sales, numbers, commitments, priority, introductions and titles, dates and timeframes, and requests.
The integration possibilities are extensive, allowing one to connect to common project management, file management, and communication tools and applications. I was able to zero in on a request that was made in the meeting, and transform it into a task in my project management application. I was able to provide a debrief of the meeting and share it via e-mail, text, Slack, and other communication channels.
It has been a long time since an application had such a dramatic impact on the way I work. I love how EVA seamlessly integrates with my meetings, provides debrief options, and enhances my project management applications by picking up on action items and priorities within the meeting notes. I’ve even added the app to my phone so I can try it out when I’m on the road. Pricing is reasonable, and I am looking forward to exploring new ways I can use EVA in my workflow.
QUESTIONING THE POSSIBILITIES
From just one short meeting, I realized how the analysis of meeting notes can guide the future of my work, but I have so many questions.
Can EVA act as a digital mentor or coach to help me work more effectively and efficiently toward my goals? Can EVA prioritize meeting information for me and help me stay informed? Can EVA find ways to streamline the mundane tasks that take precious time away from my day?
I am most curious about ways EVA might help me become more aware of the language I am using. Can EVA alert me to intentional or unintentional bias? Can EVA help me promote concepts in support of diversity and inclusion in my workplace?
Along with these questions, I have concerns. As much as I love technology, I am always a bit trepidatious when championing the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into human processes. I still believe AI will in some way fall short of human capabilities. EVA will never truly care if I get to that meeting on time, or if I continue to have strong reactions when talking about a specific client or project.
As the workplace evolves, I predict our interactions with virtual assistants will become more prevalent. As I spend more time interacting with AI, I will continue to wonder where legal and ethical lines need to be drawn, and if the benefits truly outweigh any harm that might be caused.
Still, if you need a helping hand, I encourage you to explore what Voicea and other voice collaboration platforms have to offer. Perhaps together we can to determine the best ways to integrate these virtual assistants into our training and development workflows—and maybe even learn something along the way.
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Phylise Banner is a learning experience design consultant with more than 25 years of vision, action, and leadership experience in transformational learning and development approaches. A pioneer in online learning, she is an Adobe Education Leader, Certified Learning Environment Architect, STC Fellow, performance storyteller, avid angler, and private pilot.