A startup wants to make your meetings more productive via, computer vision and natural language processing.
Read AI has exited stealth mode with a $10 million seed round led by Madrona Venture Group. The company also launched Read Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that measures engagement and sentiment for meeting attendees.
The concept behind Read AI is notable given hybrid work and the reality that most of our meetings will be conducted via video conferencing. Read AI is akin to Waze for meetings. Read Dashboard is in beta.
Read AI CEO and co-founder David Shim said the company's dashboard can help customers know how a meeting is really going by measuring engagement, productivity and frustrating levels. Shim is the former CEO of Foursquare. Shim along with co-founders Rob Williams, vice president of engineering, and Elliot Waldron, vice president of data science, launched Placed, which was acquired by Snapchat in 2017.
How does Read Dashboard work?
Read Dashboard notifies attendees that it is participating in the meeting and provides access to meeting metrics to encourage collaboration. Read Dashboard offers a single opt-out function and leaves meetings if invoked. Read doesn't record the meeting or transcribe conversations.
A few thoughts:
- Read Dashboard will be interesting for enterprises looking to get a read on remote work sentiment and Zoom fatigue. Metrics on meetings could be used as a way to gauge management effectiveness.
- However, Read Dashboard is also likely to lead to more performative meetings. Employees will be under the gun to talk for a certain percentage of the meeting and make sure that they'll appear happy and engaged.
- It's unclear how employees will react to Read Dashboard. At first, there will likely be opt-outs just because you could view Read Dashboard as a bit creepy. And if employees push back will enterprises mandate meeting monitoring or refrain?