UCLA app aims to improve meeting dynamics

Can an app make for better meetings?

Meetings are an unavoidable part of the professional environment, but when one person hijacks or monopolizes the conversation, energy and morale can quickly drain out of the room. And in the often-bureaucratic cultures of government agencies, the dangers of bad meetings can be especially pervasive.

At the University of California at Los Angeles, Chancellor Gene Block wants to spot and stop these “unhealthy meetings” with an app that uses voice and speech recognition to analyze and improve the dynamics of group interactions.

As part of the university’s 3rd Annual Code for the Mission challenge, three UCLA students are now gathering data on how meetings are conducted and will build an app that tracks the input of participants.

Block told the UCLA News that he believes the app could serve as a research tool for social scientists by  analyzing whether a speaker’s gender or ethnicity could sway the level of responses at meetings. The app could also be used by faculty to measure student engagement during class.

The final version of the app will be released in September.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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