What can an AI assistant for work actually do for me?

Published Fri 28 Sep 2018

Everyone is talking about AI in the workplace at the moment. Barely a week goes by without a story about banks using AI to detect fraud at lightning fast speeds or companies using AI to make better recruitment decisions. According to McKinsey, AI has the potential to deliver $13 trillion in economic growth by 2030. Yet it’s easy to feel skeptical about promises that workplace AI will make your working life easier, and happier, when you only see AI being talked about in terms of what a select few companies are doing with it, or in terms of what it will deliver in over a decade.

Yet AI, and AI assistants in particular, are already making fundamental changes to the way we work and the way we create and manage digital employee experiences. At the end of 2017 Gartner predicted that over the next three years AI will have the ability to recover “6.2 billion hours of worker productivity”, or over 700,000 years of productivity. The technology exists for you to start seeing these benefits now. The question is, how?

Here are three ways that you can use AI assistants to get more done at work, in less time, today.

Get a personalized morning briefing with your coffee

When you get into work in the morning there’s one question that you, and everyone you work with, wants to know – what is my day going to be like? Normally the only way to find out is to open your calendar, dig through your intranet and get sucked into your already stuffed email inbox. If a digital employee experience like this gets in your way at the start of your day, then it can impact your productivity for the rest of the day.

An AI assistant that connects to all of those apps can learn the things that you need to know, based on your role, your team, your location and the things that you look for when you work, and show you with everything you need to know in one place. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at a desktop computer, looking at your phone on the train or sitting in a coffee shop with a tablet – an AI assistant can show what you need to know at a glance.

Making decision-making less painful

Over the course of your day you may have to juggle, say, six apps, from the CRM that’s a pain to navigate to the intranet that seems to hide information. Each of these applications have information that you need to make decisions, but making sense of it all and holding ten pieces of information from six system in your head at once can often stop you from making any decision at all, leaving you paralyzed (and giving you a headache as well).

It doesn’t have to be like this. AI assistants can connect to your intranet, CRM, ERP and other systems and they can get the data for you wherever you are. Having a catch-up meeting in Slack but you suddenly need to know which of your customers have offices nearby? Just ask your AI chatbot in Slack, and you’ll have the answer immediately.

Ask questions and get answers on the go

Great ideas don’t always come at the best times. Maybe you’ve finished work and you’re cooking, and you suddenly get a flash of inspiration for your next big project, but you don’t know if you have enough of your monthly budget left to do it. You obviously can’t bring your laptop with you everywhere on the off chance that you need to check something, so you put the idea away and by the time you get to work in the morning, the idea has gone.

If you have an AI assistant that connects to all your company systems, then no information is ever out of reach. If a smart assistant like Amazon’s Alexa nearby then so is is your AI assistant and so are the answers you need. No sudden idea, or flash of inspiration, will ever be wasted again. Don’t have an Alexa? Don’t worry – you can do the same on your phone or tablet.

AI innovations like these are creating a new kind of digital employee experience – one that is borderless and reactive to the needs of each individual employee. This is the future of the workplace, and it can be made into a reality today.

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