How an AI-powered Digital Assistant Increases Productivity in Business
Blog: Jim Sinur
Powered by artificial intelligence, digital assistants have emerged as groundbreaking tools that transform the way business professionals work. From translating documents and converting files to provide research data and benchmarks, digital assistants are playing an important part in increasing productivity. In the following case study, we show how an AI-powered digital assistant makes a difference in a goodly number of consultancies and large corporations. Let’s see how human augmentation is a “win-win”.
The translation of documents is a frequent, annoying and time-consuming task in business. Translating contracts, project presentations or training materials is costly when performed by external agencies and a waste of talent if done internally… and simply taking too much time.
In high-paced business environments, “wasting time” with translations prevents team members from focusing on the creative and analytical part of their work. Sure, you can copy-paste text elements to Google Translate, but the time necessary to put everything into a document in the right format and review it still takes significant time—too often leading to late working hours.
Translating Microsoft Office documents was the triggering use case for the company’s founder when he decided to build a smart digital assistant—later named Brian. This assistant communicates via email, understands natural language, integrates multiple AI and digital services as well as selected data sources. He selects the best available translation service depending on the language pair. The integration with an OCR engine allows Brian to translate (native & scanned) PDF files as well as pictures. He is also able to translate files using client-specific terminology.
Is the translation perfect, though? Of course not (yet), but it definitely saves a lot of time! The user experience is as simple as that: you write Brian an email saying, “Hi, please convert this file to Word and translate it from Chinese to English”. Within 3 minutes, the translated document is delivered while keeping the original formatting. Brian is an example of a tool that would not be feasible without AI technology and shows how helpful applied AI can be. With work delivered in just a few minutes that otherwise would take hours, and the assistant available 24/7, it seems to be the perfect complement to today’s business professionals. Language translation is just the tip of the iceberg for sure, but it demonstrates productivity gains.
Consultancies and corporations with thousands of employees are testing and using Brian already. The advantages of using this technology are quite obvious: saving employees’ time, reducing agency costs, accelerating processes and even making the workforce happier! For many staff members, the digital assistant is the first digital co-worker they work with—providing a glimpse of how amazing applied AI can be but also what the current limitations are.
The lesson learned here is that human augmentation really works and leads to more cooperative digital assistants. Starting small with tedious tasks is a great strategy to test the benefits of smart digital assistants that leverage AI.