Artificial Intelligence is already penetrating home life through virtual assistants, including Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. Now, it is further branching out into the office market, with companies varying in size and different industries ranging from finance to natural resource companies and tech firms. These companies will be testing AI across its workforces.
“The amount of data being collected about every individual, every moment of the day, will explode as AI-enabled virtual assistants become ubiquitous,” said Dr. Louis Rosenberg, CEO and chief scientist at Unanimous AI. “These tools will not just be documenting what we say and what we type, but will be observing our reactions, predicting our next steps and tracking the accuracy of their forecasts, even documenting our moods.”
Most AI systems listen and respond to verbal commands, while ability to interpret nonverbal cues, such as pitch, tone, eye movement and hand gestures are also rapidly developing, according to Josh Feast, CEO and co-founder of Cogito. “The way we interact with (virtual assistants) will evolve to resemble actual human-to-human interactions,” he said. “Everyone in an office will effectively have a personal-behavior assistant. Technology will be much more pervasive in the office.”
Cogito uses AI to assist sales and service professionals, while its currently being used by health care, banking and insurance companies. The system will display visual cues to the call-center agents to notify them if they are interrupting or speaking too quickly. It will even suggest appropriate responses to use if the customer begins getting emotional and needs empathy.
As AI continues to move forward into all walks of office life, it will begin monitoring employees in real-time, word by word and even their health, including heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. In addition, it will monitor verbal and nonverbal cues to determine the physical and emotional state of users and further coach them to improve behavior.
“Unless regulations prevent it, AI-enabled virtual assistants will become the eyes and ears of HR departments, disseminating data on the work habits and enthusiasm of employees,” Rosenberg said. AI will be capable of listening in on meetings, taking notes, assessing who’s participating and documenting the tone — positive or negative — used by speakers. “I would hope regulations require companies to inform people when an AI is listening to a meeting and tracking participation.”