Grindr? Doodles?

   What do you do during boring meetings?

  By padraig Belton

  Technology of Business reporter

  29 June 2018

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  Image caption

  Dreaming about that Oscar acceptance speech?

  For many of us, meetings are a boring waste of time but technology could soon help make them more interesting and productive.

  What do you do during a boring meeting? I canvassed some opinions on Twitter and the results were enlightening.

  Some people compose haikus, others play meeting bingo, seeing how many pre-agreed words they can chuck in to the conversation.

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  Some secretly check out Grindr on their phones or watch catch-up TV, while others fiddle with their jewellery, doodle, or simply nod off.

  What's frankly worrying - if you're the meeting holder, that is - surveys show that the vast majority of us confess to doing other things during meetings.

  And there's always one person - often a man who loves the sound of his own voice - who drones on and on so no-one else can get a word in edgeways.

  Wouldn't it be fantastic if an artificially intelligent (AI) meeting bot could tell him to shut up?

  Well, that day may not be too far away.

  Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

  Image caption

  Many women feel they don't have a voice in meetings

  It is "very feasible" for an AI to recognise when one person is dominating a meeting, or when a circular discussion keeps coming back to the same point, says James Campanini from videoconferencing company, BlueJeans.

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  "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.

  "While it's a lovely idea to think everybody will be fabulous at running meetings, everybody is not," observes Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings, a US-based meeting management platform.

  An AI agent "might be able to determine whether a meeting leader is ensuring that each participant is being heard equally and fairly," she says.

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