I just blogged about a little moment in a podcast that stuck with me. I remembered a little micro comment about how rabbits eat their young sometimes. I wanted to listen to it again. How do I find it? Their podcast page/notes don’t have “jump links” of any sort. They don’t do transcripts, so I couldn’t look there. I actually tried it the long way and listened to the whole thing again, but I missed it. Dammit. I couldn’t bring myself to listen a third time just to catch one little thing, so I wanted to try something else.
We’re living in AI-tool mania, right? I googled around for like “automatic podcast transcript” and found a few things but ultimately landed on Fireflies.ai because they had some blog post about getting podcast transcripts. Plus, they had a free trial.
I didn’t learn anything about the software; I just signed up and winged it. I had an MP3 file of the podcast, so I found a page on Fireflies that let me upload it (as a “new meeting”), and it started doing its thing, transcribing it.
I was pretty impressed with the results. It was actually “bunnies” not “rabbits”, so that tripped me up for a second, but after trying that permutation, I was able to find the part in the podcast right away. Plus, the bit was timestamped, and I could jump right to that part of the podcast right in the app, then even make a little sharable clip of it.
Plus, look at all that other stuff! A decent summary of everything. It also tried to find action items and places where people ask questions. Pretty darn fancy. I’d probably use this if I was in meetings a lot with, for example, potential clients where it would be better for me to listen back to the meeting than have to email them or something.
As fate would have it, I was in a meeting with potential partners that very same day and the person who called the Zoom meeting invited their “Fireflies Bot” into the call, which then presumably fed the audio/video right into the app afterward for saving/transcribing/analyzing. Clever.
Fireflies did get a little creepy, though, in ways that aren’t particularly cool with me. The very next day, one of my little friend groups was having their weekly Zoom hangout. I wasn’t able to make it right at the beginning, but guess who did? The Fireflies Bot. That same bot thing that I thought was a clever idea yesterday, I’m now very WTF about. Why did the Bot attend that meeting? Never did I approve such a thing or apply and Fireflies <> Zoom connection. I logged into Fireflies and saw the meeting on the dashboard. How did it know about that? I asked the owner of the meeting, and she said she had sent out a repeating calendar invite about it long ago. So I guess it got it from Google Calendar? But I also never approved that connection either?
WTF again. I probably signed up for the service via Google oAuth or whatever, so maybe that automatically implied the permissions to root through my calendar.
I still think it’s a neat service but I deleted it for now.