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6 minutes reading time (1205 words)

AI Voice Assistants : A Story from the near future


8.45 AM | February 22, 2022, | Dallas, TX
Sally Carpenter
Sr. Project Coordinator

"Tom, I still have to prepare for my meeting, come on, let's go."

Sally is irate about getting late on a day when it is necessary to be ahead of schedule. After all, has been assigned a project that she has had her eyes on for the last six months. She sits in the driver’s seat and charts the route to the office in her mind. She is almost relieved that her office is around 30-35 minutes away and she would get some time to prepare for the meeting. 

Sally was a little down, today,  if not embarrassed, all the golf shots from the previous evening at the course, made little sense today, a few of them went literally wide into the deep, thick, rough, full of bushes, trees, and God knows what else. Sally was new to it, but she knew that learning works, it had taken her less than a year to get to 2500 hits in baseball. The move to golf was a compromise with Tom, he loved it and she wanted to prove it, yesterday. This new project was going to be a bigger challenge & would need her to learn & adapt much quicker.

Sally starts driving and turns on the car infotainment system. She's greeted with a Hello from J.J. "Hi there, J.J." she responds.

If you're wondering who that is, then it's the car’s A.I. system bot greeting the driver as a human would. He doesn't need to be named, but my daughter prefers we call him J.J. That's her favourite YouTube character from the Cocomelon series. You will know what I am saying if you have a toddler at home. 

Well, right then, J.J. prompts, "Would you like to catch-up on your meeting brief right now?" "Yes, please! Play it." Sally is relieved about finally getting on with the preparation. Sally gets a fair idea about the meeting from the audio brief which runs for about 3-4 minutes. 

"Do you want to create this as a new project in the project management software?" suggests J.J. and Sally approves and asks, "Umm...Can we add some required skills to the project?" J.J. responds, "Yes, we can." "Great, let’s go with Content Writing, Basic Understanding of Design and Good Communication as the required skills….and, don't forget to add Good Employee Relations as a good to have". "Certainly, I have added them all", confirms J.J. "Thanks J.J.", says Sally as J.J. moves on to the next action.

"Now, would you like to add your team members to the project?" asks J.J. and Sally starts thinking of all the names that would be the right fit for the project. 

And just then, Tom switches the system to play some music. It seems he has got bored of the back and forth between the machine and his wife. Sally isn’t amused, "Tom? Come on, no music today, please! You can play it once you drop me off." Tom gives her a look but understands her anxiety. 

Back to her preparation, J.J. suggests, "A while ago, you were assigning your team for the project. Do you want to continue doing that?”. "Yes, please. No one will interrupt us now.", says Sally smiling sheepishly toward Tom. Tom gets the sarcastic look but resists responding.

Sally is thinking about her potential team while J.J. prompts, "How about Chris? He attended a workshop on this topic last month". "Yes, that's right. We should add him," agrees Sally. J.J. sets this up in the company's enterprise project management system quickly. Isn’t it terrific for the bot to suggest Chris’ name? Sally had clearly forgotten about his workshop. She feels a bit more confident now that Chris is onboard.

J.J. further makes a proposal to add more team members. Getting the “nod” from Sally, the bot lays out a list of most potential team members for the project. "How about Monika and Rachel for content writing and understanding of design? Amy can also be useful with her communication skills." Sally thinks about these suggestions for a minute and decides to include them.

"How about Jason? He seems to have a good rapport with his fellow colleagues." 

"Yes, he would be perfect. Add him too," confirms Sally. 

"Now that we are done with the names, would you like to send them a project brief and let them know that they are on it?", J.J. suggests.

"Yes, that's great. Let's do that", Sally approves. 

"Project brief and confirmation sent", J.J. confirmed and further suggests, "Do you want to assign prep learning for them to brush up their skills?". "Yeah, that's a good idea. Assign it, please," responds Sally. 

J.J’s next advice is to send case studies from similar projects to the new team members. "Wow, that will be great. Let's send them across right away" responds Sally, growing confident about her preparation for the meeting as she is reaching her office. 

J.J. realizes that Sally hasn’t answered one of his questions and thus, repeats it. He inquires if she would like to set-up a meeting with her team members the next day. Sally acknowledges that she must have missed the question,” Oh yes! Please do that. 10 in the morning.” 

While going over the conversation and checking if she has missed out on any points, Sally is reminded of the case studies J.J. mentioned a while back and asks him, "J.J., can you read out one of the old case studies that you just mentioned?" The bot quickly responds, "Certainly!" and reads out a 5-minute case study to Sally giving her ideas about how she can execute this project. 

As she mentally starts laying down the project intricacies, she feels relieved about her preparation for the meeting and confident to take on the project. She pulls the car over to the lobby and hands over the car keys to Tom. "Hey, listen, all the best," exclaims Tom, smiling assuringly at her. Sally thanks him and turns to the lobby. 

While on her way to the conference room, she is pondering about how times have changed. And if not for J.J., the A.I. bot available in the car, she would have had to spend hours getting things ready. In her mind, she thanks the management for the integrated enterprise systems available to her on tap through her intuitive AI Assistant. In the 30 min car journey, the AI had helped her find resources based on their skills, work and training history, get updated on related case studies from their learning management system & update the Project management systems with resources and project details and set up the required meetings !

R&D is the center of everything we do in Vowel. Our Innovation lab is taking rapid strides with an emphasis on the "future of learning." The future is promising, A.I. is here to stay and it will be the pivot around insights and decisions and analysis will hinge.  

This blog is a peep into our future, a future where "data will be at the center of every technology, and applied to learning, we will be looking at a whole new world where thoughts are shaped and reshaped at lightspeed.

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