Your own virtual personal assistant will join you soon in the office

A virtual assistant to speak to, that understands you and that can perform tasks for you just by voice commands. Until recently, this was only possible in movies such as "Iron Man" in which Jarvis serves as the digital version of a personal assistant. All of the big tech organizations, such as Google (Assistant), Amazon (Alexa), Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana) are developing their own versions, but those are not yet as sophisticated as Jarvis. What will it take for virtual assistants to develop into tools that show real value? Moreover, how will Mice industry benefit from them?

A chatbot that is intelligent enough to function as a personal assistant seems like science fiction, but several developments show that humanity is getting closer to developing artificial intelligence that can perform autonomously. In recent news, we saw that AlphaGo, Google's chess bot, was able to teach itself chess and to beat the best player in the world within just a couple of hours. This development cannot be denied, because it shows that artificial intelligence is improving quite rapidly. The question is: is this a good development or should we be scared?

Getting your own personnal assistant

Although there are some major concerns on privacy or the destructive nature of artificial intelligence, I would rather focus on the positive possibilities. From my perspective, artificial intelligence should be perceived as something wonderful with enormous potential not only in our daily lives at home, where virtual assistants support in managing light, temperature and music, but also in our working environment. These chatbots have the potential to transform into our own digital, personal assistant just by speaking to them.

Microsoft presented the voice recognition functionality in their Cortana technology equal to human's voice recognition. This means that the tool is as good as humans in recognizing voice commands. When this ability is combined with artificial intelligence, the tool will be able to understand what is said and can perform tasks based on these voice commands. That would mean that you can talk to a bot, that it will understand you and that it can perform a task without needing manual input. It can fill out paperwork automatically, manage an agenda and show alerts when action is needed, and automatically sort your e-mail inbox. Doesn't that sound convenient?

These bots will take less time to fulfill administrative tasks, reduce the amount of errors and increase productivity. For employees in the office, these advantages are valuable because speed, results and efficiency are important in modern businesses.

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