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How Do AI Assistants Work?

When you think about artificial intelligence (AI) assistants, the first ones that come to mind are probably Siri, Alexa, and similar. These are examples of personal assistants we carry around in our smartphones, and they can be incredibly useful.

However, they are not the only examples of AI-powered digital assistants. These smart apps can do more than just set our alarm clocks, play soft music, and make to-do lists.

But what are they anyway?

What Are AI Assistants?

Essentially, AI Assistants are programs or software that are designed to interact with real people and perform simple tasks for them. Their function is similar to that of the traditional personal assistants.

These AI-powered apps are becoming increasingly better at understanding natural language and interacting with real humans. That’s why they can now perform multi-step tasks and solve multi-layer problems for their users.

Just like real personal assistants, these apps can call your spouse, turn on your heating, or even dispute your parking ticket.

People can usually interact with them using their voice, but sometimes, they also come in the form of chatbots.

How They Function — Speech Recognition, NLP, ML

Most of these little helpers come in the form of apps or other kinds of software agents. They usually require an internet connection to function and are often cloud-based.

Not all of them work in the same way — some can only execute simple commands, while others can have near human-like conversations. However, they are based on the same concept.

How the AI Understands You

The technology behind them works in the following way:

  • First off, the program needs to acknowledge the text or speech of a user. If the assistant is voice-based, it has a speech recognition feature that can turn the user’s voice into text for further processing.
  • Next, the AI uses natural language processing (NLP) to “understand” the request or command in an actionable way. This is how it knows what to do.
  • The assistant might have to access some of our personal data or a service in the cloud to perform the desired task.
  • The assistant feeds on data the users provide it with as well as all their input. Using an AI technique called machine learning (ML), it becomes better at understanding our language and preferences.

It’s worth noting that some assistants also have the ability to process images, which can often come in handy. For example, instead of having to type in (or read out) all the info from our ID, we can snap a photo of it and let the app do the rest.

Some Examples of AI Assistants

From creating weather reports to booking flights, these smart apps can now do most of the things personal assistants, customer support agents, and other call agents can do. They can do even more sometimes, and they can do it faster.

Here are some common uses of AI assistants.

Smartphone Personal Assistant

As we’ve said, the first example that comes to mind are the likes of Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. You can activate them using your voice and interact through speech or text.

These virtual helpers typically receive simple language requests and questions, such as “find me the nearest hotels” or “what’s the weather like today.”

Furthermore, you can connect them to any other smart devices or appliances, so they can check their status at any time and even update it. For example, you can tell your assistant to adjust the thermostat so that it’s nice and warm when you arrive home.

Chatbots for Interaction With Customers

Task-oriented chatbots, such as those by ServisBot, are becoming increasingly popular as they are extremely time- and cost-effective. They can be used in a variety of ways, no matter the industry.

They can be used to interact with customers in much more efficient ways. Some chatbots walk users through the loan application process or file a claim for them. Others make for great customer support additions, which can work 24/7.

From scheduling appointments to winning back customers, there’s almost nothing that a smart bot can’t do.

AI Assistants for Automating Repetitive Tasks in Your Company

There are many repetitive tasks that employees have to do which AI can do for them instead. AI bots can save you a lot of time and money by automating things like reminders, tracking teams’ progress, sending emails, etc.

Implementing this intelligent technology allows companies to use their workforce in a much smarter way.

As you can see, AI technology has gone far, but thanks to its self-learning abilities, it’s bound to go even further in the near future.