There’s hardly one among us that isn’t familiar with Apple’s “Siri” or Amazon’s “Alexa” – if you want the answer to an obscure sports question, need to know the weather for the upcoming weekend, or just want to hear a song you danced to at your junior prom, “Siri” and “Alexa” are your go to “know-it-alls.”
While this form of AI (artificial intelligence) is often considered a convenience and mere luxury, the use of these devices is making its way into the workforce, where AI can serve a number of interesting functions. Used properly, AI can dramatically increase efficiency, but with benefits also comes risks.
Voice-first technology has applications across all industries – from automotive to manufacturing, hospitality to healthcare and many in between. As an example, you can ask “Alexa” to print 100 copies of a report or to respond to an email from a vendor, opening up time to pay attention to more demanding tasks.
But how safe and secure are these AI devices? Since that’s yet to be fully determined, the imperative is to take every available precaution when connecting them to your office network. It cannot be overstated – you need to adopt the proper software/IT solutions to ensure the AI devices are protected and will not cause problems with your infrastructure. Typically, these devices are not secured from the manufacturer; that means it’s easier for hacking to occur, so definitely consult your Managed Networks provider when adding AI to your network.
Then evaluate the best usage of voice-first technology for your business and employees. You may want to start slowly by incorporating one device. Available options in addition to “Alexa” and “Siri” include Windows 10 “Cortana” and Google Assistant. Select based on your primary needs. Do you need assistance with printing? Answering email? Proofreading documents? Data entry? Translating spoken words into Word documents? Determine the tasks that take too much of your time and that a voice-activated assistant could do.
Handing over some routine responsibilities to an AI device may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re unsure of the process. So, start small by beginning with a few menial duties and then graduate to a larger scale, incorporating copiers and printers.
AI is still in its infancy but is certain to become a larger part of the workplace in the future. By taking small steps toward integrating AI into your office now, you’ll be prepared for longer strides as this technology continues to evolve and become more commonplace.
If you have questions about AI and how to make sure your IT system is equipped for the task, give us a call, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.