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Mind Your Meetings

Some of the best insights hatched at brainstorming meetings get lost in the shuffle for lack of supporting information. Eric Brown and colleagues at IBM’s Watson Research Center are working on software called Meeting Miner that could patch these productivity leaks.

First, existing speech recognition software records freshly hatched ideas as they are voiced. Next, new text analysis technology gauges the ebb and flow of words and determines when a chunk of a discussion represents a larger topic. The program then uses keywords to search for related information. Participants in a chip design meeting, for instance, might rely on Meeting Miner to flag conflicts in a patent database. Brown is working to adapt the system into a help desk aid for service reps who need transcriptions of complaints and answers to customer problems.

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