Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has seen a boom in recent years. According to a study by Stanford University, since 2000, investment in AI has grown six-fold and the number of AI startup companies has grown 14x. Today’s smart devices are getting smarter and it’s no wonder some executives are considering how an automated virtual assistant (AVA) could help their business. But how does an AVA compare to hiring a live human virtual assistant? Will chatbots and AI soon be replacing offsite human executive support?
The truth is that, commercially available AVA isn’t up to the task of replacing its human counterparts yet.
AI technology is still evolving and while it’s great for customer chat, recognizing keywords and replying with canned and automated responses, it’s confined to the limitations of its predefined workflow. AVA can’t think outside the box and adapt to situations that require a degree of empathy and comprehension—basically complex issues, in a way a human virtual professional can.
The modern workplace is an increasingly collaborative space, and human assistants far surpass their AI counterparts when it comes to teamwork. A human virtual professional can coordinate the skills and efforts of multiple members of a team and outside individuals to accomplish an urgent task. Whereas AI can struggle with even basic collaborative tasks like organizing a meeting if it requires cross-platform communication (iOS vs. Android).
While the AI industry has been making great strides in increasing the accuracy of voice instruction and transcription, last year Google Voice announced that it had cut transcription errors almost in half, it’s still prone to unintentionally humorous errors—which become far less humorous when it affects important customer information or your business communications.
Even if developers manage to completely eliminate these errors, AI will still be lacking when it comes to decision-making and developing business relationships, tasks that a live human virtual assistant excels in.
A live virtual assistant is a real person, with a real personality and real motivation that makes it possible for them to reach out and form relationships—a skill that AI isn’t capable of achieving outside of Hollywood science fiction films. While AI can send out template emails and pre-defined canned responses, a live virtual assistant can prospect potential clients and foster personal connections, so executives are free to spend their time on more strategic tasks and dealing with sales-ready prospects.
Can you imagine an AI handling your customer’s sales objections?
We don’t think so.
AI certainly still has its uses in the workplace, its great at saving time by conducting simple tasks like scheduling calendar appointments, conducting quick searches, and finding contacts—but this should be used as supplement for executives and virtual assistants, not as a replacement.
Virtual assistants don’t need to worry about being replaced by AI for the foreseeable future. Human assistants operate without the constant need for quality control and most importantly, they bring a human aspect to business relationships. Businesses are built on relationships and that’s one major reason why human virtual assistants are still essential.
Executives seeking an assistant that understands their business goals and is capable of tackling multiple tasks across several platforms will continue to hire a virtual assistant over AVA.
MyOutDesk has over a decade of experience in providing virtual assistance to over 5000 clients in the US and Canada. Contact our team at MyOutDesk and find out more about how our virtual professionals trump over run-of-the-mill virtual assistants in helping your business from prospecting, administrative duties, to marketing and all for a fraction of the cost of an in-house employee.