What is a virtual assistant? In a broad sense, a virtual business assistant is an assistant that performs a series of actions according to a prescribed scenario. In this article, we will review the best solution offering such services.
The purpose of the virtual assistant
In the modern world of constant dynamics, a virtual assistant greatly simplifies life by helping to organize affairs and plan a day, maintain continuous contact with loved ones and work colleagues, and quickly find the information you need on the Internet. Such a personal secretary, relying on the user’s interests, greatly facilitates a modern person’s life and work.
In 2005, the American Institute SRI International, within the framework of the CALO project, put forward ideas and presented prototypes of services that can learn and understand tasks, adapt to the habits and preferences of a particular person, plan a schedule for him, systematize information, prioritize data collection, independently search for new sources, information.
Today, virtual assistants are constantly changing and improving, and updates and new assistants are continually being created, which suggests that the industry will continue to develop steadily and rapidly. Voice assistants like Siri have long settled in our gadgets. They perform many tasks for us with lightning speed: they set reminders and alarm clocks on their smartphone, dial the number of the right person, call a taxi, and turn on certain music or a movie on request. And most importantly, there is always something to talk about with them. Self-learning artificial intelligence easily supports a conversation on any topic, recognizing the interlocutor’s speech and pronouncing the response phrases.
Virtual assistant packages for business work similarly: they quickly perform boring and repetitive work, leaving employees more time for creative and strategic tasks. The word “routine,” from which most enterprising workers give up, for such a robot assistant is a familiar and easily doable thing. The more routine and monotony in action, the easier it is to set algorithms based on it, which the program will execute at least a million times in a row.
An overview of the best virtual assistant services
Before choosing a virtual assistant, you need to consider a lot of nuances. To begin with, you should familiarize yourself with the most popular systems, as well as study the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. The most prominent services are:
- Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant from Google Inc. that uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and take action. Responding to different user requests, Google Now displays information depending on the user’s preferences, predicting them based on his habits and daily routine.
- Google Assistant is a smart personal assistant that listens, saves, and organizes all user dialogs to search for keywords and concepts.
- Siri is a voice assistant that can talk to the user and give proactive recommendations. In addition, assistant support has recently appeared on Apple TV and Apple Watch.
- Amazon Alexa is a voice assistant integrated into Amazon audio devices. It can play music and read news from multiple sources. The service provides information about the weather, traffic jams, and other parameters.
- Microsoft Cortana is a virtual assistant with text and voice input available on Windows, iOS, and Android. It combines the ability to anticipate and answer user questions. The service can manage your reminders and calendar, track packages, set alarms, and more.
- X.ai is one of the few virtual assistants with only one function. It works only through e-mail, where he can make appointments at your request. Highly specialized smart assistants will become handy if they can operate completely autonomously.