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A few weeks ago on this blog, we talked about the advantages and limitations of Large Language Model chatbots like ChatGPT. There’s another way that AI tools can help you with your efficiency and streamline your work: taking notes for you in a business meeting. There are tons of apps out there that are touting AI capabilities, and it’s best (while a technology is new) to go with a trusted app. Today, we’ll look at three services that offer note-taking and summary functionality to help you stay in the moment and perform at your best.

Transcription, summaries, and more

The services that we’ll be looking at today are AI driven meeting recorders, all three of which work with Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet meetings. Their primary function is to work as plugins for desktop applications that extend your meeting software’s capabilities. Fathom, Otter and Gong have different capabilities and are intended for different audiences, but have three core features in common:

  1. They can save video and transcribe the audio of a meeting (turn it into text),
  2. They can use “AI” to summarize that text,
  3. They help you share the results by integrating with Google Docs, OneDrive, etc.

Using Fathom

When you enable these services, they integrate with your chat client to make it simple to record and transcribe. After you install Fathom, for instance, opening a Zoom link automatically opens Fathom; when you’re ready to record, just start Fathom, and it joins your room with an AI notetaker. Some helpful stats about how much you are talking will periodically appear as the meeting goes on.

When you’re done, the video and transcript appear in your Fathom account almost immediately. Once the video is there, you can share the video—including specific clips—and you can export the transcript to Google Docs, OneDrive, and other platforms. All this, and it’s free, with no strings attached.

As soon as I had it set up, I recorded about 5 hours of video with it and it has done a fairly good job of transcribing the materials. It’s great for going back to meeting notes—even if the transcripts aren’t 100% accurate—since the video is saved. When you click on the video in Fathom, you can click “Summary” and it will make an auto-generated summary at a few key points in the video. These summaries, though, do look pretty “AI-y,” since they can’t really weigh how important a particular topic is.

Using Otter offers a similar service, but includes a mobile app, where Fathom is only available on the desktop. This means that Otter can do some powerful things, like live captioning a conversation for accessibility purposes. It also means that it isn’t platform specific: it can take notes by listening to your phone’s microphone or Bluetooth, so it can be used in virtually any “real-life” situation.

Otter’s standout feature is its chatbot that lets you interact with things that have happened in the meeting while recording. Some examples of how this could be useful include catching up if you missed part of the meeting, or asking the Otter AI Chat if you came to a resolution on something that was covered. This could be a really powerful tool for complex meetings and presentations. Otter also offers some specific features for sales communications, called OtterPilot for Sales. It can do things like summarize calls so that you have a clear picture of what to follow up on, and an automatically generated list of the potential client’s needs.

Gong’s “Reality Platform”

For a really serious step up, there’s Gong’s Reality Platform. It basically gathers and analyzes all of your company’s interactions with clients and prospects. From there, it can do market research, coach your sales team, and even suggest solutions to particular problems that come up in meetings. That’s a great deal of capability that’s made possible through over 100 integrations with other platforms.

If you’re ready for your company to be on the leading edge of AI-driven business analysis, this is the platform for you. On the other hand, it’s still a fairly new technology, and very pricey, so it’s most likely to be picked up by larger companies for now.

-Written by Derek Jeppsen on Behalf of Sean Goss and Crown Computers Team