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A new study from Conversica, an artificial intelligence (AI) software maker, reveals that more than half of all people want a virtual assistant to help them get through the workday.
Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Now are some examples of AI-enabled virtual assistants that learn from their users and adapt their recommendations and ability sets accordingly. They are handy for delivering personalized information, setting reminders and automating certain tasks with minimal input or something as simple as a voice command.
Now, it appears that many folks want those abilities to follow them into the office.
Just in time for Administrative Professionals' Day, Conversica released the results of a recent survey of 1,000 Americans on using AI at work. Sixty-one percent of millennials, 18- to 34-year-olds, said they want virtual assistants at work, followed by Generation Y (35- to 44-year-olds) at 54 percent and Generation X (45- to 54-year-olds) at 43 percent.
Baby Boomers (55- to 64-year-olds) are evenly split at 50 percent. In general, seniors, those 65 and up, don't want AI assistants with only 31 percent expressing an interest. Taken altogether, a slim majority (52 percent) of Americans want AI-enabled assistants in the workplace.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, those who like the idea of virtual assistants hope to reclaim one of a busy professional's most valuable resources: time.
Top reasons for embracing AI assistants include handing off repetitive and mindless tasks or work that's not a good use of an employee's skills. Workers also seeking to eliminate boring task, make time-consuming tasks easier to accomplish and cut down on after-hours work.
Respondents said they planned on becoming more productive with the time they were able to get back by letting AI assistants handle some tasks, followed by improving their work-life balance by spending more time with family. A few of those polled by Conversica said they may even strike up an office romance with the free time (two percent).
Alex Terry, CEO of Conversica, said the results mark "a turning point in American perceptions around artificial intelligence and a growing understanding that AI can solve real business problems and help human workers be more productive and successful," in a statement.
Terry also believes that administrative assistants should embrace the technology. "In fact, even human assistants should have AI assistants to make their lives better and offload routine tasks," he said.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.