July 21, 2024

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Microsoft Copilot boasts users can attend 3 meetings at a time—workers are furious

2 min read

Microsoft launched its AI productivity tool Copilot with the goal of increasing efficiency and eliminating menial tasks. But office workers who discovered a questionable advertisement for the feature are wondering if Microsoft isn’t itself adding to that unnecessary work.

In the ad, a user brags: “Can I be in three meetings at once?” “Watch me,” complete with a frowning woman at a computer. Actual office workers were not sold on the function.

“I’m not an expert on Microsoft Copilot, but what feature specifically is enabling this to work?” one tech worker said in an Instagram video reacting to the ad. “This is implying they got the AI sitting in the meeting for her, but I haven’t heard about that feature.”

“They are marketing this like crazy and I’m like how on earth is it going to be productive if like a third of the meeting attendees are just these AI stand ins,” another user commented. “Most meetings could be a well written email.”

“Copilot, enabling burnout, overwork, underpay and untimely death of people,” another said.

Copilot, introduced for Microsoft365 in November 2023, is one of many productivity tools introduced by tech companies promising AI bot stand-ins to take notes and summarize telecall meetings. They’re a result of the rapid proliferation of meetings—and the growing frustration of the people having to attend them.

Since 2020, Microsoft Teams users have tripled the time they spend in meetings, according to a September 2022 Microsoft blog post, with the rates of overlapping Teams meetings increasing to 46%. A Microsoft spokesperson told Fortune, “Copilot can help users summarize a missed meeting nearly 4x faster than non-Copilot users,” citing internal research from the company. 

But the anonymous angry comments regarding the program have validity, according to Jeanine Turner, professor of management and director of the communication, culture and technology program at Georgetown…

Sasha Rogelberg

2024-06-23 08:13:00

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