Could AI personas attend your work meetings for you? One tech CEO says yes — and by the end of the year

Could AI personas attend your work meetings for you? One tech CEO says yes — and by the end of the year
The CEO of Otter believes AI avatars will attend meetings for workers by the end of the year.Christophe Testi/
  • AI avatars may be able to attend work meetings for you by the end of the year, Otter's CEO says.
  • The tech CEO says the avatars will be able to act, talk, and problem-solve like specific workers.

White-collar employees may be wondering whether they really need to attend all their scheduled meetings. Sam Liang, the CEO of Otter — who says he has up to 10 meetings a day — also wondered that exact thing.

So, what if AI avatars that act and talk like employees could be present in the (virtual) room on their behalf? According to the head of the AI-powered transcription software company, that could become a reality, and sooner than we think.

"A prototype can be made working later this year," Liang told Business Insider, adding that Otter has already made progress toward that goal.

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AI models are generally trained using a set of data to get them to behave in human-like ways. AI avatars should be trained on the recorded meeting notes and voice data of the specific people they're trying to replicate, Liang said, so that they can act and converse exactly like them. Once they have enough information, the avatars (in theory) will be able to speak in the cadence of individual workers, participate in conversations, and answer questions based on the worker's unique perspectives.

Liang expects Otter's AI work persona will be able to answer 90% of the questions it's asked during meetings, he said. When it's stuck on the remaining 10%, the questions will be sent to the human worker with a note saying, "Hey, I don't know how to answer this question — can you help me?"


If avatars can accurately represent employees, Liang said they'll save them time and boost productivity. He said the bots will be able to attend meetings related to customer support, sales, and team status updates — which could give employees extra hours in their day to focus on more creative tasks and, in turn, make companies more money.

Workers, he noted, could even send their virtual replicas to meetings that occur while they're on vacation.

But the road to building trustworthy AI avatars is riddled with technical and social obstacles.

It's "very challenging," Liang said, to get a model to figure out the right way to interact with a group of people, whether it's knowing when to speak up, wait its turn, or interject. That's because meeting etiquette varies based on what's being discussed.

He also notes that it's hard to instill emotional cues into AI that can be used to determine whether the persona should raise its voice or stay calm.


"It needs to have the knowledge and emotional intelligence to participate in a productive way," Liang said about the AI.

So, Liang believes any personas will need to go through "several stages" before they can operate in the way he envisions.

However, Liang believes the technology to create them already exists., he said, has created AI personality chatbots that can speak like high-profile figures such as Elon Musk. Meta's AI assistants are trained to replicate the personas of celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Tom Brady.

Otter itself launched a new feature this month where multiple people can ask an AI chatbot specific questions about meetings it's recorded. Liang sees this recent development as a step toward creating a fully operative AI avatar.

However, the potential for avatars in meetings doesn't mean get-togethers will soon become obsolete. The CEO still believes they're an effective and efficient way to exchange information across the company; AI can merely accelerate that process.


But when it comes to a one-on-one with a boss or an annual review, Liang would advise workers to think twice about getting their digital twin to attend that meeting.

"You'd probably want to go by yourself," he said.