Otter, the AI-powered meeting assistant that transcribes audio in real-time is adding another layer of AI to its product with today’s introduction of Meeting GenAI, a new set of AI tools for meetings. Included with GenAI is an AI chatbot you can query to get information about past meetings you’ve recorded with Otter, an AI chat feature that can be used by teams, and an AI conversation summary that provides an overview of the meeting that took place, so you don’t have to read the full transcript to catch up.
Although journalists and students may use AI to record things like interviews or lectures, Otter’s new AI features are aimed more at those who leverage the meeting helper in a corporate environment. The company envisions the new tools as a complement or replacement for the AI features offered by different services like Microsoft Copilot, Zoom AI Companion, and Google Duet, for example.
Explains Otter CEO Sam Liang, the idea to introduce the new AI tools was inspired by his own busy schedule.
“I actually have 30 — sometimes more than 30 — meetings every week. Sometimes I’m even double booked. I couldn’t go to two or three meetings at the same time, but my Otter autopilot would tune into those meetings on my behalf,” he said, referring to the Otter feature that lets an AI bot record a meeting for you to review later.
Now, users will be able to read an AI-generated summary of what was covered in that meeting, including a paragraph followed by a list of action items. Otter’s customers can also now interact with an AI chatbot where they can ask questions about what took place in the past meeting or others.
For example, you could ask the AI chatbot things like “What did the CMO say?” or “Did they change the launch date?”
While Liang admits Otter is not the first to offer an AI companion for meetings — Microsoft Copilot and Zoom’s AI companion also have a similar feature — he believes that Otter’s version is more powerful and more comprehensive.
“You can use AI chat to query your entire meeting history,” he explains. That means you can go back to ask questions about prior meetings, not just the one you’re reviewing.
Another feature offers an AI chatbot that joins Otter’s channels where group chats take place. Here, the bot interacts like any other chat with another participant and can be invoked by anyone who asks Otter a question. For example, as users are chatting with each other, they could pause to ask the AI a question, like, “Hey Otter, what’s our revenue?” The AI chatbot will then answer your question.
The eventual goal is to have Otter more proactively participate by chiming in when it thinks it has something helpful to offer, by analyzing what’s being discussed. Perhaps if a colleague didn’t know an answer to a question, Otter could one day respond after looking back through the company’s meetings history and finding the answer shared elsewhere.
Otter’s data is stored in the cloud and secured, similar to other cloud-based services like Dropbox or Google’s Gmail, but no one who isn’t authorized by the company will have access to the meeting data. This allows people to access Otter, including its AI features, via any device, including their laptop or smartphone. Otter also isn’t using a customer’s data to train its AI, it says, although it allows individual users to contribute their recordings via an opt-in basis.
Notably, the company doesn’t plan to charge for its new AI features. While Microsoft charges $360 per year for its Copilot in Office 365 and Teams, Otter’s GenAI will be included both in the free plan and the $20 per month Business plan.