Are you tired of facing the camera in endless meetings? According to Otter CEO Sam Liang, the future might hold a solution. Liang, at the helm of an AI startup specializing in transcription and automated note-taking services, envisions a “working prototype” of an AI-powered work avatar capable of attending meetings on behalf of its human counterpart. This futuristic vision, set to materialize “later this year,” aims to revolutionize how we perceive and engage in work-related discussions.

Liang’s concept goes beyond mere attendance, proposing that these AI doppelgängers should actively participate, answer questions, and even pose inquiries of their own. While the idea challenges the traditional notion of workplace dynamics, particularly in a digital era dominated by remote work, it raises questions about whether replacing humans with digital twins genuinely enhances productivity or exacerbates isolation.

In Liang’s vision, these AI avatars would be meticulously trained to emulate their human counterparts in appearance and speech, with the ability to address approximately 90 percent of queries from colleagues. In instances where the AI lacks an answer, it would seamlessly communicate with its human counterpart for guidance. However, Liang acknowledges the complexity of this undertaking, predicting multiple iterative stages before achieving the desired level of functionality.

The potential benefits, as Liang sees it, include freeing workers from the constraints of mundane conference calls, allowing them to concentrate on more creative tasks. While this could be a boon for individuals burdened with meeting-packed schedules, there are noteworthy concerns. The erosion of the “power of proximity” in remote work environments, particularly for younger employees seeking mentorship from higher-ups, is a valid consideration. AI avatars might inadvertently intensify the detachment between junior staff and senior management.

As this vision unfolds, skepticism abounds regarding its realization within the year. Nonetheless, the emergence of such concepts serves as a reminder that AI companies are actively shaping the future of work, leaving us to ponder what lies on the other side of this technological transformation.

By Impact Lab