What is an AI Virtual Assistant?

May 20, 2020 - by Synoptek

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Beyond Siri and Alexa: The Role of AI Virtual Assistants in Business

Recent advances in AI have opened up a new avenue of organizational excellence in the form of worker productivity enhancement. AI virtual assistants have become an integral part of the AI ecosystem, allowing the workforce to carry out of a multitude of tasks: from scheduling meetings to organizing work, following up with peers to automating mundane everyday tasks. AI assistants are enabling employees to move away from repetitive tasks and focus on more interesting, strategic and impactful tasks.

The Technology Behind AI Virtual Assistants

AI virtual assistants have come a long way from Siri and Alexa; today, they have opened up several possibilities within the enterprise landscape. However, have you ever wondered about the science behind Siri? How does Siri or other AI virtual assistants understand human speech? What makes them so smart? How are they able to act based on the instructions they have been given?

AI Virtual Assistants are built on a robust AI technology foundation that allows them to fulfil human requests with ease. Some of the components include:

Automatic Speech Recognition:

This software converts human audio into a text transcription that is understandable by the AI Virtual Assistant.

Natural Language Understanding:

These capabilities allow the virtual assistant to understand commands and deduce meaning – irrespective of how the instruction has been provided.

Dialog Manager:

Keep track of the context and the conversation and provide a suitable response back to the user using a text-to-speech converter.

How they are different from Chatbots

Despite the many differences, there is a lot of ambiguity associated with AI virtual agents and chatbots, with many using the terms interchangeably. Here are some key differences:

 Chatbots

Virtual Assistants

Automated AI programs used to interact with humansDigital AI agents that assist humans in performing day-to-day tasks
Play a crucial role in customer serviceAssist in daily activities
Can be programmed only for a handful of repetitive tasksCan be programmed for a wide range of different tasks
Typically, text-basedTypically, speech-based
Lack understanding of human emotionsCan understand human emotions as well as the intent behind user command
Cannot remember the context of conversationsCan have dynamic, enriched conversations with humans
Cannot have long conversations with humansCan have long conversations with humans
Can respond only to questions they’ve been programmed forCan respond to unpredictable questions
Fail to respond if there is a change in language or phraseCan respond irrespective of what language is used

Using AI Virtual Assistants in Business

Contrary to popular belief, AI technology can aid humans in carrying out daily tasks while facilitating business decision-making. AI virtual assistants are a great investment to businesses looking to eliminate mundane tasks or improve the productivity and efficiency of the workforce. Using AI virtual assistants, companies can:

  • Improve employee productivity by letting AI virtual assistants take care of repetitive, error-prone, manual tasks.
  • Respond quickly, efficiently, and contextually to customer queries and enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Schedule meetings, make phone calls, send emails, and set reminders to increase personalization and improve sales conversions.
  • Spot trends and patterns in customer (or employee) conversations and provide businesses with insight to improve experience.
  • Streamline day-to-day tasks, automate workflows, and streamline business processes across sales, marketing, HR, customer service, and more.
  • Scan through thousands of job applications, screens relevant, applicants, create candidate shortlists, and schedule interviews.

Utilizing AI Virtual Assistants to Enhance Business Outcomes

In a digital world where organizations are looking to dash to the finish line, technologies like AI can aid in streamlining business processes, enhancing employee productivity, and driving customer satisfaction. Given the many capabilities across contextual human speech recognition and analysis, AI virtual assistants are quickly being integrated into the business landscape. They are now paving the way for smarter, more efficient business outcomes.

Interested in launching an AI virtual assistant through Dynamics 365? Contact a Synoptek expert today.