You can now ask Alexa to start a conference call, schedule a meeting, and even turn the lights off in the office via the Amazon Web Services Alexa for Business playbook. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels outlined the latest Alexa version at the company’s Re: Invent conference and discussed its intention to simplify and automate a series of tedious office tasks.
Other companies have also tried to reinvent its intelligent assistant for workplace purposes. Cisco recently announced its Spark intelligent Assistant last November while Microsoft has integrated Cortana with its Office 365 software applications.
“Voice will very much have a big part to play in how we collaborate and work over the next 10 years…The Alexa and Cisco announcements are both key indicators of that, ” IDC research director Wayne Kurtzman.
A.I. assistants on workplace raises some concerns
Although A.I. has been around for years, tools like Alexa are accustoming from a business perspective. As with any new system, it will take some time for systems that use voice activation for people to get used to.
Freeform Dynamics research analyst Richard Edwards believe that people may be happy to interact using voice commands but there will be several people who might feel otherwise.
Amazon has also integrated Transcribed into Alexa. It is a cloud-based voice transcription system that will provide staff with accurate transcriptions after a meeting. According to Gartner research director Werner Goertz, “Alexa for Business points to opportunities for workplace productivity enhancements and even deeper integrations in the future.”
Amazon’s Alexa for Business starter kit comes with other three Amazon Echo devices, two Echo Dots, and two Echo Show. The Alexa Kit is priced at $709 on Amazon.com.
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