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AI won’t eliminate meetings. This is why it’s a good thing

The cofounder of Clockwise says AI is prompting business leaders to think about how tech innovations will enable time efficiencies, and that’s a good thing.

AI won’t eliminate meetings. This is why it’s a good thing
[Source photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels; Markus Spiske/Unsplash]

From content writing to product design, chances are, AI is already changing core workstreams in your employees’ day-to-day jobs. But what about AI’s impact on the entire workplace?  Will it make us faster and more efficient at our jobs? Probably, but there’s more to it. Will AI change the way companies approach their most valuable resource: time?

One area that leaders are just starting to delve into is how AI will impact the frequency, effectiveness, purpose, and focus of participants involved in meetings.

Obviously, I can’t peer into our AI-powered future to see what meetings become. There are myriad outcomes. But AI is prompting business leaders to think about how tech innovations will enable time efficiencies, and that’s a good thing.


The impact of AI on both the frequency and nature of meetings will depend heavily on how organizations choose to implement AI technologies.

In the early stages of companies integrating AI into their workflows, we’ll likely see a natural (and necessary) increase in meetings to discuss strategies, oversee implementation, troubleshoot issues, and ensure that AI systems align with business goals. This is true when implementing any technology, but especially critical with the nuances of AI, for addressing ethical considerations, discussing biases in AI systems, and determining the overall impact on workers.

On the flip side, AI may reduce the total number of meetings on our calendars. By automating routine tasks and processes, AI can report on things like status updates or project progress that are typically presented during recurring operational syncs. So when groups do gather, they’ll be enabled to prioritize more important discussions. The result? Reduced meeting fatigue and more productive, energized teams.

When it comes to our calendars, I imagine a future when applications of AI will analyze meeting patterns and ultimately offer suggestions of the appropriate attendees—a huge benefit for businesses that care a lot about time savings and efficiency at an organizational level.

Human expertise and close evaluation remain essential, necessitating discussions on how best to integrate AI insights into strategic planning, business processes, and innovation. On a tactical level, companies that leverage AI to reduce friction in existing workplace workflows will gain the most productivity and velocity. Solutions that make it easier for teams to meet when they need to— from finding times that work across an organization, to deprioritizing non-urgent meetings, and replacing them with more important ones—will inspire a shift in meeting culture away from frequency and toward quality.


Some speculate that AI may soon be able to attend meetings for you. While sending a bot to attend a meeting in your place may sound appealing at first, “Wow, I never have to attend a meeting again!”—the negative consequences on meeting culture are real. It’s impersonal and imposes hierarchy by determining who attends versus who is replaced by technology. Rather than replacing our humanity, AI should strive to enhance what we can accomplish together.

AI-powered communication platforms can enhance asynchronous conversations, making it easier for team members to collaborate and stay informed without needing to convene unnecessary meetings (or, sometimes, help teams avoid rescheduling a meeting based on one teammate’s availability). These platforms can summarize discussions, highlight action items, and even suggest the best times for a meeting if that’s a necessary outcome, thereby optimizing the need for real-time interaction.

When we do need to come together, AI will play a unique role not by taking our place in meetings, but by enabling more efficient conversations and increasing net outputs. Think of all the progress that can be made when everyone in a meeting is focused on actively participating in the discussion—collaborating and brainstorming creative ideas rather than note-taking and other mundane tasks.


Ultimately, whether AI leads to more or fewer meetings hinges entirely on how it’s implemented and integrated into organizational processes. AI has the potential to streamline workflows and reduce the need for certain types of meetings, particularly those focused on information sharing and status updates. However, as AI prompts new ways of working and introduces unforeseen challenges, it may also create the need for different meetings focused on strategy, ethics, and human-AI collaboration.

With AI’s ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data, organizations may make more informed decisions faster  and cut the busywork. While these capabilities certainly won’t wipe calendars completely clean, they might reduce the need for lengthy deliberation meetings.

AI won’t remove the need for human interaction, rather, it helps us prioritize it. This is especially exciting as teams become more remote and distributed, and businesses are looking for ways to help workers be more present and engaged with each other.

The key for organizations is leveraging AI in a way that maximizes efficiency while simultaneously fostering a culture of meaningful collaboration, aiming to reduce unnecessary meetings while ensuring that necessary discussions are more productive and focused on value-added activities.

Ultimately, we need to remain vigilant and think critically about how to best utilize our time. While AI will no doubt be a powerful tool in increasing productivity, efficiency, and velocity, we’ll need to be even more intentional in how we use meetings and when we use them as we implement new tools.

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Matt Martin is the cofounder and CEO of Clockwise. More

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