If you contact me by email these days, and we plan to meet online or off, you may well be surprised to hear it could be my new assistant, Amy who arranges the time and place.
In its own right, not that surprising, until I tell you that Amy is an artificial intelligence communication bot from the people at X.ai.
Ever since watching watching Her, I wondered what it would be like to have a more intimate relationship with my computer (leaving the jokes to you on that one), and between this and the machine learning in Google’s Inbox I feel I am a step closer.
Business automation tools like Infusionsoft have enabled me to create more intelligent interactions with prospects and clients, and now with machine learning platforms like x.ai you could imagine a future where sales conversations become informed in a highly sophicated manner. The same goes for Social Media. I don’t mean bots that leave ‘Cute pic!’ and ‘Great posts’ across Instagram posts, I mean ones that help be find the right people and engage with them based on our historic interactions. With Google’s machine learning already hitting ‘Inbox’ I am waiting for it to appear on Google+ too – giving me 3 intelligent options to respond to a comment. Sure, social is more complex than many email exchanges but maybe sometimes a ‘thank you!’ is all you need?
Leaving speculation aside, let’s look at little more at x.ai can automate setting up your schedule, connecting with your calendar and increasing your efficiency along the way.
Here is how it works:
1. You’ll sign up at x.ai (it is free) and set the criteria for your meetings, for instance looking at the location in ‘real world’ or online using e.g. Skype.
2. Whenever you want to bring Amy into the conversation in your email, you simply cc her in…
3. And the first time you arrange a meeting you will receive something like this:
…which gives you some idea of how approachable and ‘non-roboty’ Amy feels.
4. Amy then handles the ‘back and forth’ of scheduling based on criteria such as times, length of meetings, locations etc, as if she was a person (or at least it feels that way).
5. Once a time has been coordinated, Amy will send out an invite to your guest.
It really is that simple.
Note: it is still in Beta, and as you can see from my friend Stephanie below, not everything is perfect yet.
In her case she even felt that using a Calendar planner like Calendly would be easier.
This I feel is a true leap in communication for one reason, and here is why:
You now longer know whether you are talking to a person or a machine.
If I didn’t tell you that Amy (or her brother Andrew, who you could choose instead) was a bot, you probably wouldn’t guess.
All in all, x.ai is just a taste of what is to come.
Try it for yourself, knowing that Dennis Mortensen (CEO of x.ai) may have started to solve the problems that we all have, but maybe didn’t realize it.