We all know that being busy isn’t the same as being productive. But today, we live in a workplace culture where the raison d’etre seems to be for sheer activity rather than working intelligently to create something of value. We’ve all had days where we’re rushed off our feet but don’t get anything done.
Technology, however, has developed considerably over the last five years, particularly artificial intelligence. Computers found it challenging to recognize objects in their field of view at the start of the decade, and were hopelessly inaccurate with things like faces. But today, identifying a face is a trivial operation for a computer, so long as you feed it enough data.
That same technology is spearheading a new productivity revolution, helping people to get more done with their day than ever before and preventing the state of being busy without being productive. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways that you can stop wasting time with unnecessary tasks using AI. Let’s begin.
Express Emails From Google
Google is at the forefront of AI research, having bought the London AI startup Deepmind in 2014 for around $400 million. The company’s AI is in most of its products and makes a real difference to workplace productivity. One of the newest and most exciting AI technologies to emerge from the company is Express Emails.
If you’ve used Gmail to compose an email recently, you will have noticed that it has started making suggestions for what you might want to say next. These suggestions are surprisingly close to the mark, and often mean that you can reply to an email in a matter of seconds, instead of spending minutes typing out precisely what you want to say.
Express emails also provide you with quick response options in the form of buttons you can press which allow you to give a suitable reply to an email you’ve received. What’s so clever about the technology is that it enables you to respond appropriately in either the affirmative or the negative, depending on your final choice. A colleague, for instance, could be asking you whether a project will be completed by tomorrow at 10 am. Google reads the email, understands the content, and then provides you with options like “Yes, it’ll be ready!” or “no, I’m going to need more time.”
Emails take up a vast amount of your time each week. Just the physical act of writing out an email is a time-consuming experience. But Express Emails changs the dynamic by providing you with a tool that you can use to supercharge your email-sending and get it all done in a fraction of the time that it would usually take.
Automate Your Presentation Creation
If you’re an entrepreneur or work in business, the time will eventually come where you’ll need to create a presentation, either because you want to win business from a new client or foster internal change. The problem, of course, is that creating a presentation is a time-consuming process. Surely there’s a better way?
If you’ve delved into the world of company websites or apps, you’ll know that there are already plenty of tools out there that make it easy for the average person to create something beautiful and useful. But now AI is bringing that same convenience to presentation creation. You can get your free account today with one of these platforms, and start creating a bespoke presentation in a fraction of the time it would take using regular software.
Automate Meeting Assistants
Organizing a meeting can be a painful and time-consuming experience, involving the sending and receiving of many emails and calendar synchronization. What you need is an intelligent secretary to do the work for you, but hiring one of those is expensive. If only there were a computer program that could send out emails to people attending a meeting on your behalf, interpret what they say, and then feed their responses back to you.
It turns out that there is. A company called x.ai is trying to develop a meeting platform where a chatbot called Amy communicates with people on your behalf. You tell the bot who you want to invite to the meeting and when you’re free, and it’ll do the rest, emailing or messaging them on your behalf, and waiting for a response.
Scheduling is an obvious target for AI. It’s a primary secretarial function and something that AI is ideally suited for. Machines can interpret the meaning of responses from attendees and filter them back to you once they’ve responded. Ultimately, you should be able to tell the app what type of meeting you want and get it to do the rest.
Be Proactive With The Information You Need
We live in an information-saturated world, continually inundated by new data. For the average person, it’s too much to process. Too much information is bad for productivity: people spend so much of their time wading through stuff that they don’t need to know to find things they do that they end up wasting time.
Could artificial intelligence help? Big tech seems to think so. Rather than going out and searching for relevant data yourself, some savvy executives are using AI to find the data they need for them.
Google is working on something which it blandly calls “Assistant.” The Assistant is Google’s personal AI that it hopes will help people better navigate the world’s information. The Assistant is already much more powerful than many people in business recognize. You can ask it to do things like tweet on your social media platform, translate a sentence, and find files and folders on your computer. The Assistant, therefore, is a tool you can use to get what you want fast, without having to go through the mechanical and unproductive process of doing it yourself.
AI today is already a potent tool, and it’s set to become even more powerful as the technology develops. Will you begin using AI more to cut out unnecessary work?