Canadian company develops human-like AI meeting assistant

An Ottawa-based company is making virtual meetings more productive with its human-like artificial intelligence (AI)-powered meeting assistant.

Uncanny Lab Ltd.’s bluecap technology enhances the meeting experience for both hosts and attendees.

bluecap integrates with video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meets. It acts as a meeting assistant and its basic features include automatic meeting transcriptions, review videos, and concise meeting summaries. But what sets bluecap apart from other transcribing platforms, the company said, is its meeting analysis capabilities.

“The real value of the overall product is the analysis that it can do,” chief executive officer and co-founder Justin Hacker said.

The platform allows users to view their own performance in meetings, and how the meeting went in general for other participants.

How it works

When a user first logs in, they receive an overview of everything they’ve done on the platform in the last week.

bluecap is able to track and display the overall sentiment of a meeting, ranking the meeting as positive or negative. In addition, it will also display data about the user’s performance in meetings throughout the day, letting them know their level of engagement.

For example, if by the end of the day, bluecap’s data shows the user’s meeting performance or participation in other meetings has lowered, it could be an indicator of low energy after working for a while.

“This is kind of an embodiment of the concept of meeting fatigue. I do lots of long presentations, so if I have a five meeting day, that’s probably doing this presentation five times in a row and you know, like my sentiment’s low and my participation is as much as necessary. And I’ve kind of been using it as a self-coaching tool,” Hacker said.

It uses the conversation data pertaining to context and emotion to create an advanced analysis of performance and even sentiment.

The AI assistant is able to track whether the meeting was negative or positive or average based on the textual analysis of what was discussed, language used in the meeting, tone of voice, and participation, according to co-founder Fuad Miah.

SOAP Media, an Ottawa-based digital marketing agency, has been using bluecap’s platform for about four months, CEO Jesse Perreault said.

 

According to Perreault, bluecap helps truly determine the success of a meeting.

 

“The data feedback kind of answers those questions of assumption that come after a meeting,” he said.

 

With bluecap’s analysis capabilities, organizations are able to look into every detail of the meeting to assess the outcome, helping companies pick up on information they may have missed during a call.

 

“I was really shocked at how much we actually miss when you’re done with the call,” Perreault said.

 

He also notes that bluecap’s note-taking ability has been extremely helpful to the company, as the AI generates summaries of the meeting and highlights the important words that were spoken throughout it.

bluecap in a hybrid work world

Thanks to bluecap’s analysis capabilities, the platform is a useful tool for the hybrid work environment many companies are slowly shifting into.

Hacker said that bluecap’s data can show if staff are burning out due to long-duration meetings, especially if the engagement is low, based on team metrics.

“When you know who is in person and who isn’t, you can apply these levels of data to that, and go ‘okay, this person is maybe feeling isolated from the team, they’re not participating,” Hacker said.

Companies will be able to see if their hybrid strategies are working based on of the bluecap analysis post-meeting, and can also use the platform to see what factors contributed to a productive meeting, Miah added.

For example, he said, if you see in one meeting that an employee has their camera on and is engaged right after their breakfast in the morning, it could be an indication that meetings at that time result in higher productivity for that person.

Securing the platform

While this detailed analysis can be extremely helpful, and valuable to leaders trying to create the best culture and drive productivity rates at their companies, there are security concerns with so much information being stored by the platform.

However, bluecap has taken this into consideration.

“We have this zero-trust approach to security,” Miah said.

The company offers additional security steps to customers who want to protect their data even more. bluecap has a de-identification process, where personal information, such as birthdays or private numbers is removed from the data compiled from that meeting. The company also offers the option to store the meeting data in a private cloud.

Digitizing industries

bluecap’s technology helps digitize a lot of human tasks.

For example, extensive note taking while trying to stay engaged and alert during a meeting can be difficult, and the company’s technology helps simplify tasks like these

Hacker and Miah are looking to take this idea and bring it to the healthcare sector to encourage better engagement between patients and doctors, and help digitize the healthcare industry.

“We’re taking the extra steps for healthcare to make it a more tailored software solution for them, and a more medically outcome-driven interaction,” Hacker said.

They also have plans in the works to add video analytics into the platform.

With this added feature, the AI assistant will be able to read users’ reactions and facial expressions if their cameras are on during the meeting, and then provide meeting analysis based on that.

“You don’t have to go through the pages of notes… being able to add assistive intelligence to do better, to engage better, to deepen relationships..That’s what bluecap is,” Miah said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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