The benefits of virtual assistants for business
The global intelligent virtual assistant market is due to be worth more than 12 billion dollars by 2024.
While we’re all used to the likes of Siri and Google Now in our personal lives, virtual assistants for business are set to be a massive new trend. In 2016 Siri was opened up by Apple to third-party developers, so you can now do things like telling it to send payments to someone.
Naji El-Arifi, Global Head of Innovation at Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce Company, recently spoke with Mark Smith at The Telegraph about "The Benefits of Virtual Assistants for Business". Here's what he had to say:
The most interesting thing about personal assistants is that they utilise voice and Natural Language Processing (NLP). This means for the first time we can start to talk to our computers like we talk to our friends and family. Getting instructions to a computer is going to become a lot easier and means that how employees interact with their devices is going to drastically change as well.
For example we have made a piece of software that uses NLP and a clients analytics tool to allow for anyone to find the information they need using questions like “how many visits did my website get last Tuesday?”. From this, we can understand what the user needs and surface just that information to them. Now anyone in a business can have access to all the information that they need, without having to go on a course on how to use your brand of analytics. At the minute this is just an experiment but we plan on seeing if we can get this to work through digital assistants like Google Home and Alexa. In the near future, we may all have either our own personal digital assistant via hearables like the Sony Xperia Ear or have shared devices on our desks at work like an Echo that is plugged into our business.
The fact that it's so simple and there's no learning curve involved should be a massive draw to any business as it means we can do more with the information we have by opening it up to more users in the business. Not to mention allowing us to do more with less, by this I mean that if we take speech as a form of communication with our devices it has about 3 times higher bandwidth than typing (Average typing speed is ~40wpm while speech is around 120-160wpm). With our voices, we can communicate much faster with our devices and in doing so become more efficient.