Meeting assistant Eva from Voicea can now work with more than 20 SaaS and productivity apps like Jira, Trello, Asana, and Zapier to share things like tasks and notes during a meeting. A suite of voice commands were also introduced today, for the first time making Eva more of an AI-powered assistant during voice and video calls.
Eva records and transcribes meetings, then labels transcripts with action items and comments participants share via the Voicea website during or after meetings. Prior to today, Eva voice commands could only assign tasks and highlight a portion of a meeting transcript.
New Eva voice commands can do things like create reminders, highlight a portion of a meeting, schedule a follow-up meeting, or share your contact info with meeting participants.
Eva can also do things like solve math equations, share live stock prices, or send a reminder email to invite meeting participants to join a call.
Say “OK Eva, go off the record,” and meeting transcript, audio, and video will no longer be recorded. In the future, say “OK Eva, read me my highlights from the day” when using the app to get a rundown of important moments from a meeting.
Voice commands were introduced to make Eva more than a meeting transcript helper and more like a workplace assistant, Voicea CEO Omar Tawakol told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
“We’re starting to do things after the meetings, but at some point we think this is going to be the way to build UI in the enterprise in general, which is speak to an assistant and the assistant will update the UI as opposed to you having to know the nuances of each different UI,” he said.
Eva is available today in iOS and Android smartphone apps and the Voicea website. Slack and Microsoft Teams bots from Voicea can also do things like share meeting highlights and assignments. The assistant can be integrated into your calendar to record voice or video calls with Blue Jeans, Zoom, Skype for Business, and other services.
Just as Alexa is able to capably handle top use cases like play music or set timers, Eva wants to become a central part of people’s work lives by starting with meeting transcripts and top use cases like task assignments. Alexa for Business from AWS does bring Alexa into the workplace and works with a number of conference call solutions but does not yet record or transcribe meetings.
“You start out with [Alexa] basically play a song, set a timer, but then you start connecting it to your devices and light switches, and it starts to become like an integration hub. That’s definitely what we’re expanding into here also,” Tawakol said.
However, meetings aren’t exactly the same as when you’re at home yelling at an Echo speaker. When you’re in a meeting with multiple people and there are people talking over each other, saying a voice command isn’t always appropriate. To address this, Voicea is working on features sensitive to the social context of meetings. Today, triggers can be preset on the Voicea app or website to highlight and call attention anytime certain words are used in a meeting.
“There are some cases where you’re just in the heat of a conversation and it just doesn’t make sense to give a voice command and interrupt people, so you needed this more silent mode option,” he said.
To make Eva more helpful, in the future the ability to type commands to Eva during a meeting instead of using your voice, as well as person-specific task assignments, is part of the assistant’s near-future roadmap, Tawakol said.
Formerly Voicera, Voicea has raised more than $20 million in investment from a number of major enterprise companies also in the conversational AI space, including Microsoft Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Cisco Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.
With the general rise in the abilities of conversational AI systems to translate speech into text, a number of companies with transcription and meeting recording services are also on the market, including Fireflies.ai, Otter.ai, Dialpad, and Verbit.ai, which raised $23 million last month.
Microsoft introduced automated meeting transcripts for 365 customers last year.
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