People meet in order to interact - disseminating information, making decisions, and creating new ideas. Automatic analysis of meetings is therefore important from two points of view: extracting the information they contain, and understanding human interaction processes. Based on this view, this article presents an approach in which relevant information content of a meeting is identified from a variety of audio and visual sensor inputs and statistical models of interacting people. We present a framework for computer observation and understanding of interacting people, and discuss particular tasks within this framework, issues in the meeting context, and particular algorithms that we have adopted. We also comment on current developments and the future challenges in automatic meeting analysis.