“Alexa, read through my emails, and let me know which ones are a priority and require a response first. Then, can you figure out what my top three priorities are today and let me know what else is coming up later this week?”
That would be nice, right?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual assistants have similar characteristics, but are not the same thing – despite that, as of late, ‘virtual assistant’ has been used interchangeably to not only be the human version, but also the Alex, Siri and similar versions.
So, let’s break down the exact definitions and differences.
AI or VA – Or Both?
Artificial intelligence can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. According to IBM, artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.
A virtual assistant is a human who works as a remote contractor to complete administrative tasks strategically in order to help you grow your business.
Google, Alexa, Amazon, and Apple are all artificial intelligence machines. They recognize your voice, can tell jokes, order your groceries, call a friend, and send a text or email.
Your virtual assistant can, of course, do all of these things, too. However, when you have a virtual assistant, you get more of a personal – human – approach.
Google can book a flight for you, but your virtual assistant can spot that you should book earlier in the day to allow for more time before your dinner reservation with a colleague. Similarly, artificial intelligence can place online orders for you but a virtual assistant can give you the list of options for what your next client gift could be based on your industry — and even have it organized in a document for you.
The value of a person on your team who knows you and understands your values and goals can make strategic moves to help you do more than just schedule a dinner reservation or send a client gift.
Thankfully, it’s not an either/or proposition.
In fact, AI and VAs can work splendidly together. You can use your AI device to make lists, set reminders, and communicate with your virtual assistant.
This can be used to streamline processes for you and your virtual assistant in order to continue to effectively knock out everything on your to-do list.
It’s a powerhouse ‘work smarter, not harder’ combination.
Time To Work Smarter
Does the idea of a virtual assistant sound great but you’re not sure you’re ready? We have a resource for that.