Home Transcription Tools Otter.ai, which powers speech transcription with AI, unveils updates

Otter.ai, which powers speech transcription with AI, unveils updates

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Otter.ai, the Mountain View, California-based startup using AI and ML to empower users with real-time speech-to-text transcription meeting notes that are shareable and searchable, has announced a major update to its transcription-focused speech-to-text Otter platform. The company said in a press release that the update will take the new Otter from a single-player transcription service to a full-fledged, multi-player collaboration tool.

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While competition in the audio transcription market is stiff, with Grand View Research estimating that the market will reach $31.82 billion by 2025, Otter.ai — formerly AISense — is on a path to carving out a niche for itself. Last year, Otter.ai announced the launch of Otter Assistant for Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Cisco Webex for Otter Business Plan users, but this new update will see the company go further in its quest to play a significant role in the future of work.

New features and capabilities

The company said features of the new Otter include the capability to capture, assign and comment on action items directly from the automated notes and receive a live AI-generated meeting outline and summary that turns meetings into actionable workflow. 

The new Otter streamlines communication for smarter, more collaborative and more productive meetings in what the company claims is “the first use of conversational AI to power meetings.”

Here’s what the update offers:

  • Meeting gems: This new feature will enable users to easily assign action items, add questions and capture key moments of meetings using the newly created Meeting Gems pane — all with a single click. Users can generate Meeting Gems directly from meetings by highlighting snippets within the notes.
  • Screen captures: With one click, users can now add a meeting slide, screenshot or other images presented in virtual meetings directly to their Otter notes for “fast, easy, visual references for themselves and their teams.”
  • New home feed: With improvements to help onboard users and facilitate collaboration, the new home feed feature enables users to gain insight on relevant shared conversations, highlights and comments, and tagged action items.
  • Calendar: Users who have connected their calendars to Otter can also see your upcoming calendar events and “can even join the Zoom meeting directly from your Otter calendar or navigate back to prior meetings to listen to the notes.” The new calendar feature allows you to freely move to any date and join a meeting directly from the panel. You can also turn on/off Otter Assistant directly through the calendar.
  • Automatic outline (Beta for Otter Business on web browser): This feature leverages Otter.ai’s proprietary AI to automatically create a meeting summary that’s curated and displayed in the Meeting Gems panel — giving users a precise brief of discussions.
  • Groups, direct messages, folders: Users can now sort by group name, last updated conversation or by the owner and manage group members directly in each of these three listing pages.

Otter.ai has competition in Microsoft 365, which also offers AI-enabled capabilities like facial recognition of attendees and automatic speech-to-text conversion during live meetings. The company also has competition in meeting transcription tools from Cisco and startups Scribie, Verbit, Simon Says, Trint and Voicera.

Increasing productivity with Otter

Sam Liang, cofounder and CEO of Otter.ai, said the new Otter makes meeting collaboration easier and faster — making it an essential tool for business teams looking to improve their communication in today’s hybrid, in-person, and virtual meetings.

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex currently record millions of daily virtual and hybrid meeting users, according to a report by GetVoIP. An article published by Gartner shows 30% of technology providers with at least $100 million in revenue will shift to a virtual-first event model for both first-party and third-party events, compared with less than 5% before the pandemic. As companies increasingly shift to fully remote or hybrid work models, Otter.ai claims millions of professionals and a growing number of organizations are exploring tools like Otter to increase collaboration, accessibility, and productivity at work.

Otter.ai says this has caused tremendous growth for the company over the last year, with a 400% increase in total minutes transcribed to date — up from 3 billion minutes in 2021 transcribed to 12 billion minutes this year. 

The company says Otter Business users logging into Otter on the web will see a pop-up introducing the new Otter experience over the next few days.

“They can choose to immediately update Otter with a single click or decide to update later through a button within their Otter homepage,” said the company’s press release.

While iOS and android updates are coming in the weeks ahead, Otter.ai says the new experience will roll out for all users by May 2022.

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