Can AI save us from bad meetings? 人工智慧給糟糕的會議畫上句號?

What can we do about bad meetings? Maybe AI is the answer.
Could AI make our meetings better?

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會議是許多企業和公司的常規組成部分。但很多人認為會議是耗時、枯燥和無效的。有理論證實,人工智慧可能是幫助人們組織更好、更高效的會議的答案。人工智慧是怎麼辦到的?本集《隨身英語》討論人工智慧是否能給商務會議注入新活力。

Vocabulary:  business meetings 詞彙: 商務會議

Business meetings are, arguably, a necessary part of any organisation where people work collectively to accomplish a goal. But badly managed, meetings can be unproductive, boring and feel like a complete waste of time. In a recent survey conducted by governance technology firm eShare, it was found that the average UK employee spends over 10 hours weekly preparing for and attending meetings – approximately 50% of which they consider unnecessary. However, there are theories that technology could improve things. 

It’s “very feasible” for an AI to be able to recognise when one person is hijacking a meeting, or if a circular discussion keeps returning to a single issue, says James Campanini, from videoconferencing company, BlueJeans. “If no new points are made after a while, the AI could suggest to wrap up,” says Cynthia Rudin, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But AI isn’t quite there yet.

“If AI can do most of the mundane and drudgery work during business meetings, that leaves more space for humans to think about strategy and vision,” believes Niki Iliadis at the Big Innovation centre, London, an innovation hub in AI. This seems to be true. The prefecture of Osaka in Japan started using an AI as a minute taker to transcribe and summarise the 450 annual cabinet meetings. It has halved the time needed to produce summaries and cut staff overtime, claims the prefecture.

AI can also help with the matter of attendance. If a meeting with irrelevant subject matter is called, or if it’s an an inconvenient time, an AI could be used to decide who should attend the meeting and when it should be, says Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings, a US-based meeting management platform.

Finally, one Stockholm start-up, Mentimeter, allows meeting  attendees to give anonymous feedback about a discussion. Using the software, participants can make open-ended responses, submit comments or vote in multiple-choice quizzes. This has “fundamentally changed the dynamics of a presentation,” says Austin Broad from financial services firm AFH Wealth Management.

While tools that can create agendas, send meeting invitations, distribute the minutes, and keep track of action items should improve effectiveness, they are still in development. Let’s hope that if or when they do arrive, they will meet our expectations.

詞彙表

badly managed 管理糟糕的,無序的
unproductive 無效的,收益很小的
a complete waste of time 完全浪費時間
attend 參加
hijack 控制,把持(不屬於其本人的東西)
circular discussion 巡回無效的討論
videoconference 可視會議
wrap up 結束,畫上句號
strategy 策略
vision (企業)願景
minute taker 會議記錄員
transcribe 記錄下
summarise 總結,概述
attendee 參加者
presentation 報告,演講
agenda 會議議程
meeting invitation 會議邀請
the minutes 會議記錄
action item 行動方案

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How much time does the average UK employee spend preparing for and attending meetings?

2. True or false: UK employees believe that all meetings are unnecessary.

3. If AI can do the mundane work, what will it allow more space for humans to do?

4. How much of a difference has an AI made to the prefecture of Osaka?

5. What three things does the Mentimeter software allow participants to do?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. John’s very loud and direct, so he tends to ______ meetings. Keep an eye on him.

attend       hijack       action item       vision

2. OK everyone, if there’s no AOB then we should ______ this meeting. Thanks.

transcribe       vote       wrap up       agenda

3. We had a meeting this morning with no outcome. It was so ______.

unproductive       visionary       strategic       attended

4. I will act as chairperson and Mr Johnson will be ______. Item 1 on the agenda is…

a complete waste of time       videoconference       attendee       minute-taker

5. We have two good ideas so let’s put it to a ______. All those in favour of idea 1?

vote       presentation       action item       vision

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How much time does the average UK employee spend preparing for and attending meetings?
The average UK employee spends over 10 hours weekly preparing for and attending meetings.

2. True or false: Surveyed UK employees believe that all meetings are unnecessary.
False. Surveyed UK employees believe that approximately 50% of meetings are unnecessary.

3. If AI can do the mundane work, what will it allow more space for humans to do?
It will leave more space for humans to think about strategy and vision.

4. How much of a difference has an AI made to the prefecture of Osaka?
It has halved the time needed to produce summaries and cut staff overtime, claims the prefecture.

5. What three things does the Mentimeter software allow participants to do?
Participants can make open-ended responses, submit comments or vote in multiple-choice quizzes.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. John’s very loud and direct, so he tends to hijack meetings. Keep an eye on him.

2. OK everyone, if there’s no AOB then we should wrap up this meeting. Thanks.

3. We had a meeting this morning with no outcome. It was so unproductive.

4. I will act as chairperson and Mr Johnson will be minute taker. Item 1 on the agenda is…

5. We have two good ideas so let’s put it to a vote. All those in favour of idea 1?

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