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Have Your AI Call My AI

Jay Cuthrell
October 12th, 2016 · 2 min read

For as long as I’ve been a professional worker, I’ve wondered why it is so hard to get a group of individuals to agree to times and durations for meetings. Then again, there is a case to be made for avoiding meetings if at all possible.

How’s Tuesday Afternoon?

You might remember the first time someone exposed you to the concept of getting things done and all the power this simple phrase promised to deliver. You probably also remember when slap bracelets were a thing.

Indeed, even the proponents of so-called agile methodologies will impress upon devotees (or anyone that will listen) that a standing meeting is a way to physically exhaust attendees that might otherwise spend longer times in meetings were they seated. Perhaps the next progession is to run meetings while doing agility drills or maybe even calisthenics. How much ya bench backlog?

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

First… a video montage moment depicting a future AI to AI abstraction…

Years from now, we will all look back — but not at the marvel of AI but at the marvel that was marketing adoption of the term AI as the word to search and replace for in copy that previously referred to real time, social graph, or the latest darling on demand. So, does the hype match the execution?

Five years ago, Microsoft bought Skype. Now, I might know folks at both places but this commentary is just me riffing. I’ll just say that I had high hopes and still do.

Maybe Slack will get this right? Perhaps Facebook Work? Perhaps G(oogle) Suite?

I don’t know. I just know that if AI is a part of the story, I’m skeptical.

Alternatives To Waiting

I’ve hired virtual assistants before. The results were mixed.

I’ve tried various email this or click this web applications to generate quorum. Again, the results were mixed.

I’ve tried the free versions of AI-ish or been involved with startups in pursuit of serendipitous calendar integration. For most, results were mixed until the results were no longer viable business models.

Of special note, I do think that the folks behind are clever.

The space is getting more crowded or shrinking depending on your perspective.

Here’s a useful query to keep track of recent listicles

So, for now at least, I’m using a few alternatives while I await meeting scheduling nirvana

Future Feature Parity

I’ve had access (and still have access) to executive assistants. Without a doubt, people are just plain awesome if your business model permits. Further, some might argue that people with executive assistant skills are exactly what permits many modern business models to persist in the first place.

It’s easy to see why startups want to embody what an executive assistant can do as machine learning models and selective task defintions. Once there is a minimum viable product the next step seems to be a freemium to premium trial ware approach. Or, the startup exits or fails and is reconsumed into another startup.

If only there was AI for pricing models. Actually, that probably exists somewhere too. 😉

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