Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming, in fact it’s already here in many ways. From ChatGPT creating (controversial) new songs, to judges awarding an AI generated picture ‘photo of the year’, AI can seem like its beginning to take over.
But today, let’s focus on some of the positive impacts AI is having on our working lives, especially when Working From Home or Hybrid Working.
I dislike Mondays, I dislike Mondays a lot. It’s not missing the weekend, or that I hate my job. It’s the planning, the need to plan for an entire week ahead. Calls, meetings, stock orders, deliveries, collections. When, where, how. Did I say, I dislike Mondays.
AI can make all of this go away for good. We currently see Siri and Cortana automatically scanning emails and adding dates into our calendars and setting reminders on our phones. Some AI has taken this a step further, by CC’ing them into emails, bots such as Clara will respond to your contacts in a human manner, get a date and time and update your calendar accordingly. Easy!
But what if you’re the one doing the chasing? Just ask Googles’ Duplex to arrange an appointment and it’ll do all the work for you, including calling up (and sitting on hold) before scheduling the appointment into your calendar. Genius!
We’ve arranged that Zoom meeting, now the real work begins! AI can be a great assistant during those presentations and all-important pitches, AI can help keep you the camera focused on you when moving around, it can remove distracting sounds like road noise, keyboard tapping and babies crying. Simply things such as highlighting the name of the current speaker or responding to audible cues can keep the presentation flowing an ensure everybody is following.
What if (when) somebody joins the conference late? AI can keep a running summary of the main points so that people can be caught up quickly. It can summarise the meeting into an email to be sent out afterwards and even translate then (or in real time) to non-native speakers.
Finally, as AI gets better at understanding our own visual cues, it will be better at tailoring our conferences to keep our audiences involved. AI can summarise which parts resonated well with the audience and which bits less so. Think ‘death by powerpoint’ but on a much finer scale, did that slide stay up too long? We’re people’s eyes drawn towards certain parts of the screen. Could people find documents quickly enough. Did you talk too fast/slow. All this information will hopefully make our next presentation just that little bit better.
Hybrid working and security can be tricky. Carrying things to and from an office, hotdesking, leaving your laptop on the sofa whilst grabbing a coffee. These aren’t the typical things thrown at traditional security software. AI started by using facial/fingerprint recognition to secure our hardware but it’s since taken on a whole new, more offensive approach to cyber security. AI can now actively seek out threats by evaluating enormous amounts of data quickly, in doing so it can begin to ‘understand’ risk and search for threats before they’ve had the chance to cause damage.
Of course before we all start jumping for joy it’s important to remember that AI can be used by the attackers too. For example, AI-written phishing emails tend to have higher click rates than those written by humans. So make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay protected.
All-In-One (AIO) systems.
We’ve spoken about admin before, but what if you could combine admin with, well, everything!
Many employees need to access three, four, or even five different bits of software to complete their daily tasks. Add to this the countless number of data drives and security checks and it’s clear that we waste hours, weekly, on menial task. An ‘AIOAI’ (that’s an All In One AI, I don’t think it’ll stick though) could perform all these tasks for you. Need to call HR to get some clarification on something but its 8pm and they’ve gone home, your AIOAI (I’m trying!) could peruse the colleague manual, intranet, various contracts, errata etc to find you the answer. Need to get verification to purchase more ink for your home office, it could check your usage, and clearance level before authorising a delivery.
The AIOAI (Ok I give up) could even perform manual resets before you call the IT department, imagine a world where a call to IT didn’t mean a 5 minute conversation of “try this, now try this, now try this” but instead your IT department could see the diagnostics already done and solve the issue if it requires clearance or send out somebody straight away. Amazing!
AI is bringing huge change to the way we work. Change is scary, and AI is a little scary too. But under the right control AI can be used to improve our work regimes, it can give us more time to do the important tasks and it may even give us more time away from our desks and with the people, hobbies, and various other things we want to be with, and that’s got to be a good thing.