08 Jan Micro Efficiencies With Voice Add Up
As CES gets underway in Vegas there is plenty of focus on the consumer market for voice enabled computing, but the real stalking horse for 2018 is voice enabled computing for the workplace. Leading this march is Alexa For Business, and a plethora of other Natural Language applications like x.ai’s Amy, a calendar scheduling assistant. As has often been the case I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple stealthily snatch a late advantage before too long.
In December, with a team of 15 people, we built a virtual assistant that handles commodities trading as a broker (the VA). This application manages two conversations simultaneously (eg. with a seller and a buyer) and executes a transaction. This can be viewed as both complex, and simple, but the point is it’s a repetitive task that can be automated to produce efficiencies.
So much of our day is taken up with repetitive or similar tasks that revolve around finding answers to simple questions in a sea of information, or conducting mundane transactions like appointment scheduling, purchasing, and recording information. Natural Language and voice based technologies are masterful at simplifying all of this.
Convenience should also not be under valued, particularly where mundane tasks are concerned. For Christmas I bought my children an Alexa each so they could listen to music, audio books and generally engage with Alexa for information, which I figured was far better for them than a tablet.
For fun I also bought some Phillips Hue lights for their bedrooms, and added a few extras around the house. Whilst initially I saw this as a bit of a gimmick it has proved extremely useful. For example our outside light switch is as far away from the back door as you could get, so with connected lights I can just ask Alexa, Google Home, or Siri to turn on the lights as I walk out the door, saving me the trip to the other end of the house to switch them on. Adding items to our shopping list is also a breeze and means less things get forgotten.
Voice interaction like this makes life easier and more efficient. Applying these principles to the workplace is a logical step, and when you add up the efficiency savings across an entire workforce even smaller businesses can benefit from voice enabling their work streams.
With API availability at record highs across all manner of business applications, few, if any, areas of business function are immune to improvement, from employee engagement, customer service, finance, through to supply chain or service efficiency.
Using your voice is so much more efficient and convenient than using your hands, and time is something you cannot buy back!
Ask yourself three questions about things you do every day at work:
“What would be easier to ask someone else to do than do myself?”
“What answers would be easier and faster to find by asking someone who knew, rather than discovering for myself?”
“What would be so much more convenient to tell someone, rather than type or perform a task?”
If you’ve discovered something in your answers, then please get in touch and I’ll be happy to show you how a Natural Language application will improve your productivity.