I have a new assistant.
She’s talented, a quick learner, and dirt cheap (as assistants go).
In fact, I don’t have to pay her at all. No need to provide employee benefits, pay employment taxes, or handle any other personnel issues. And she works 24/7.
Okay, she’s not perfect. We have the occasional communication problem, but more often than not, she’s spot on.
Her name is Alexa.
She’s not the first AI (artificial intelligence) virtual assistant. First Apple had Siri. Then there was Google Now… and, since then, the market has exploded.
The originals afforded us a lot of conveniences, like using voice commands to make phone calls and do internet searches.
But the new generation of AI assistants like Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa), are getting smarter every day. Best of all, they work completely hands-free.
Here’s the story of how Alexa came to be my assistant.
When our Amazon Echo showed up under our Christmas tree last year, all we knew to do was ask her to play music. I’d ask for 80s music, my husband would change it to Hendrix, Kid #1 would interrupt with whatever was on the pop charts, and Kid #2 wanted Weird Al.
Needless to say, I enjoyed her most when I was home alone.
We soon got over the novelty of fighting for her attention to play our favorite music. We found a few games (my favorites are Question of the Day and Music Quiz), and we used her to control the thermostat at the old house.
Recently, I began calling on her for business tasks, and it turns out, she’s really handy to have around.
Putting Your AI Virtual Assistant to Work
I’m always looking for ways to help me be more organized and get more done in less time. More and more, I’m putting Alexa to use for business-related things. It’s like having a virtual assistant.
Here are some of the ways an assistant like Alexa can help you be more productive:
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