Secretaries

‘Computers’ used to be humans. ‘Secretaries’ mostly still are. It’s hard to imagine this situation lasting many decades. Given the obvious potential of reliable machine secretarial assistance, for navigating increasingly complex, information and communication saturated lives, it’s a zone of innovation peculiarly suited to the emergence of an AI-based ‘killer app.’

From the Wired link:

As it stands today, Clara helps coordinate meetings — via email — and generally manages your online calendar. When you’re trying to set up a phone meeting with someone, you cc: Clara, and the tool arranges a time that works for everyone and mails calendar invites. You also can ask it to add a meeting to your calendar, something I did just minutes before writing this sentence. Diede van Lamoen, who juggles myriad phone meetings each week, chatting with people across the globe, has used the tool for a year, and he says it saves him enormous amounts of time. “It’s been a godsend,” he says. “I can outsource all the scheduling.”

Among the (many) residual qualifications, Clara still has a Turk-style back end. Nevertheless, prepping the market for these applications is going to pay off eventually. By the time they arrive, they’ll seem indispensable, and be digested even faster than smart phones.

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