Artificial intelligence to the rescue of time-pressed PAs

Could some of your admin-focused tasks be taken off your hands, giving you more time to focus on managerial matters? It may well be, if this army of office workers get their way. Research by Adobe revealed that 86 per cent of the workforce say artificial intelligence (AI) already improves their working day – and they want more. The most popular tasks to handover include:

  • Reminders of projects/appointments (46 per cent)
  • Help with research (36 per cent)
  • Searching electronic documents for information (30 per cent)

Workers were less eager to use AI for strategic tasks, like creative suggestions, how to grow a network and feedback on the style of a long document, so don’t worry – your less admin-heavy EA skills will still be very much in demand!

On that note, Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa – already big business in the consumer market – is making inroads into the office environment. Companies report integrating it to the business and already being able to ask absence-related queries, such as “Alexa, who is out today?” or “Alexa, is Sandra out on February 4th?”. Amazon says that next year, it’ll penetrate more areas of the office – adjusting room temperatures or turning on lights, for example.

Original take-up has been with smaller businesses that lack an in-house function to deal with absence-related issues but for those who do, Alexa is still said to be able to aid speed and consistency in mundane HR tasks by answering frequently asked questions.

Looking forwards, if voice technology continues to develop, it could dramatically transform business interactions. But even in the meantime, as an EA, you always seem to be expected to know the whereabouts of everyone in the company – so how handy would it be to pass that responsibility on?