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How To Explain Intelligent Digital Workforce Assistants to Your Mom

woman showing her elderly mother something on her phone, explaining intelligent digital assistants

A few weeks ago, I found myself trying to explain what an intelligent digital workforce is to my mom. Technology has exploded over the last few generations and it can be difficult to keep up. Especially when it comes to technology that hasn’t been around for a long time, it’s difficult to understand how or why they work. It was challenging to find a way to explain it that made sense to someone who doesn’t know the tech lingo that we throw around every day. So here is a simple explanation of what an intelligent digital assistant is and how it works that even your mom can understand.

Feel free to share this post with her!

The simplest way to describe them is it’s a piece of technology that you can interact with. Yeah, sort of self-explanatory. You can talk to it, it can talk back. You can message it, it can message back. It’s almost like a person stuck inside of a machine- no mom there isn’t actually a person stuck inside of the machine. Just like Siri on your phone, or Alexa, if you interact with it, it can talk back! Answer questions, make jokes, and yes also set the timer for your famous casserole that everyone is very much looking forward to eating again this Thanksgiving. But HOW? How can that little piece of technology answer all of my questions? 

Okay here’s a buzzword that you might have heard - AI or Artificial Intelligence. According to John McCarthy, Artificial Intelligence is: 

“getting a computer to do things which, when done by people, are said to involve intelligence.” 

Let’s think of AI as a kid. Its programmer parents give it all of the tools it needs to be able to go out in the world and learn on its own! It is programmed to mimic human intelligence and continue learning in its environment even when someone isn’t there telling it what to do. AI continues getting smarter and smarter. We have no idea how far AI will be able to go. Yes, that does concern some people but that’s a worry for another day

AI can be used in so many different ways but intelligent digital assistants are how we get to interact with this technology in a human-like way. They can be used for just about anything but usually, they are here to help us in some way. Many companies are using them as 'employees' to answer your questions like a concierge or greeter or give you directions with interactive wayfinding or to check your visitors in with an intelligent visitor management system aka VMS (just dropping another buzzword). They are handling all those repetitive tasks so that humans can do the tasks that only humans can do. And the best part, your mom will love this, is this technology allows companies, their employees, customers, and visitors to remain safe and secure. Think about it! They can scan credentials and IDs ensuring the safety of everyone. 

lisa unit resized-1

"How can I help you today?"

One of the coolest parts of interactive avatars is the fact that they learn over time. 

Here is another buzzword - Machine Learning. Let’s let Wikipedia help us explain that one:

“The study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence.”  

They really do feel human. They can crack jokes (imagine the dad jokes they endure), make puns, and they can even have a personality! Confession, we caught one of ours taking a nap! Yes, all of this is powered by AI. 

But how do I interact with it?

They are oftentimes incredibly user-friendly! Since they do have that human aspect to them. It’s not like a computer or a phone where you have to learn what all of the buttons do and things can go wrong if you do the wrong thing. Usually, with an intelligent digital assistant, you can just start speaking or say a quick command and it will talk back! PRSONAS™ uses voice-first communication so there is no reason to touch anything. I think every generation can embrace that. But if you come across one that needs you to input something, they will assist you just like your grandchildren do when you have a tech question. These digital assistants are incredibly simple to use!

Hopefully, next time you come across one of these human-like intelligent digital assistants you will better understand how they work! Or at the very least feel confident enough to interact with it! 

Have you ever had to explain a piece of technology to your mom? How did it go? Let's give the older generations some credit. New technology is coming out every few years and it’s hard to keep up! But the more we take the time to explain it the better off we will all be!


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