Is an AI Assistant as good as an actual EA?

Everyone has heard of Siri and Alexa but the world of AI Assistants is growing rapidly, with the likes of Cortana from Microsoft and Bixby from Samsung also big players in the game of the virtual assistant. But as AI Assistants increase in popularity, we ask can they really be as smart as an actual Executive Assistant?

First things first, what can an AI Assistant actually do?

While they offer businesses support in a wide range of tasks, it’s important to remember that they are still machines. AI Assistants have limitations to their understanding and certainly don’t have any common sense.  Although they are more complex than Chatbots, which are used commonly for customer service.  In simplistic terms, an AI Assistant can be used to perform repetitive and rule-based tasks. It has the ability to extract information and complex data from conversations and understand them accordingly. Virtual AI Assistants are the highest level of robotic automation, placing what they learn in context and learning from each interaction. It uses advanced language processing to gather what is said or written. Then it will formulate the correct answer for its user. In summary, it gains insight into one’s preferences based on previous choices and data.  Overtime your interaction with the AI Assistant will come more personalised.

But beyond turning on and off the lights and recording a shopping list for you, what does all of that mean in practical terms? Your virtual AI Assistant will read text and take dictation, find phone numbers and place calls, schedule emails and meeting reminders, for example.

Some businesses might use AI Assistants to handle incoming communication or do book-keeping/invoices. But these are very basic, simple jobs. There are vast limitations to using AI. Just how accurate will your robotic Assistant be? How would it respond to quick changes of plan, predict a boss changing their mind or a solve problems between co-workers?

There are concerns that the technology used for AI is just not smart enough to solve the problem of real intelligence, unlike an actual human being, for example. So while the AI market place gets more competitive so does the real life one. With the quality of PA or EA candidate getting brighter and more indispensable. Hiring the right PA or EA will increase your earning power and free up your time considerably.

A PA will take on the duties and tasks that you don’t have time to do. In many cases they will be responsible for administration and organisational elements of your life. But more than that they will have access to extremely sensitive and confidential information. You need to be able to trust your PA implicitly. Without risk of them being hacked. Beyond the admin, a PA will be tasked with research projects, managing employees. As well as practical things like making refreshments for meetings and ensuring your key clients are greeted by someone who is an ambassador for your business. All things that an AI Assistant would not be able to do.

PAs and EAs will often stick with you throughout your career. The relationship you can build with your PA is incomparable to that of computer software. They will grow to learn everything about the way you do business and what you might need in your personal life too – from presents for family members to getting your car serviced. They will also build relationships with other people in your business, so building and nurturing the company culture. PAs understand sensitive situations that might arise within company politics and know how to handle them with discretion and compassion. They respond and adapt quickly to dramatic turn of events – an unexpected pandemic for example, a last-minute diary change  – in the way that a computer simply cannot.

If you’re looking to hire a Personal Assistant, Executive Assistant, Private PA, Virtual Assistant or other Office Staff candidates please contact one of our recruitment consultants on 020 7468 0400 or email us

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