Evie.ai, a Virtual Personal Assistant

Overview

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a day without a computer. This technology has already penetrated millions of homes and working settings, and people depend on the opportunities offered by recent technological progress. The rise of technologies provokes the need for artificial intelligence (AI) as an attempt to develop computer systems and simulate human characteristics (Tannenbaum, 2019).

An ability of a machine to mimic human-like behavior, plan or solve problems has already contributed to certain improvements in organizational management. With time, the tasks of engineers and scientists have been dramatically changed, and people expect a variety of innovations in different fields. This report focuses on the discussion of recent trends in AI and its application in business. Such processes as globalization and international relationships enhance global demands and force companies to introduce new systems with respect to various ethical, cultural, and technical aspects.

For example, in China, AI technologies identify and track about 1.4 billion people to create a strong surveillance system (Mozur, 2018). AI progress has shaped employment processes and brought new consequences that have to be evaluated to understand the true worth of fast-developing trends around the globe.

Trends of AI

A variety of trends of AI impresses and shows that people do not want to stop expanding their skills and opportunities. During the last year, the advancement of AI-related technologies was thoroughly investigated by different researchers and writers, including Janakiram MSV (2018) and Swathi Young (2019). The work of AI technologies is based on three main tasks, learning, reasoning, and adapting. According to Janakiram MSV (2018), automated machine learning should gain certain prominence to empower business analysts and users of machine models. Despite the desire to strengthen the field, the lack of interoperability among neural networks remains a challenge for many companies (Janakiram MSV, 2018). Therefore, the trend contains the need to address this problem and discover new collaboration directions.

Along with learning reinforcement, the ethical aspect cannot be ignored. New policies around legal accountability, transparency, and governance frameworks should be developed to predict potential harms caused by AI and protect human rights (Young, 2019). Many systems that aim to gather and elaborate personal data can be biased. Therefore, one of the critical trends of AI is to reduce the number of biases in new applications.

Definitions and Examples of AI for Business

The development of innovative digital technologies is frequently observed in business as its driving force and major component. The concept of AI is not new for a modern user, and people define this technology as the possibility to control data, improve routine processes, and manage work within a company and with customers (Jin, 2019). For example, the advancement of Industrie 4.0 initiatives could result in improved “operability, position monitoring, voice control, machine learning, and AI, so the human and robot can cooperate more directly” (Jin, 2019, p. 5).

In the majority of cases, business managers and leaders consider AI as one of the most credible ways to succeed. New systems improve organizational management and hide the problem of poorly trained human resources. At the same time, the application of AI technologies required new staff and individuals who are aware of AI peculiarities. The worthiness of AI mostly depends on business goals and leaders’ expectations. Finally, the field of business gets a great chance to extend its boundaries and involve a variety of partners within the same context. Meetings, clarification, and information exchange become possible and easily controlled by AI systems.

Global Demands for AI

A rapid transformation of the world is one of the examples of AI influence. The price of the global AI market continued rising, including about $2.5 billion in 2017 and expected $18 billion in 2022 (“The rising demand of AI experts,” 2019). Many global investors pay attention to the role of AI in the business world, and the number of AI-related companies emerges. Each region has its specific characteristics of how AI can be developed and improved. For example, American organizations want to improve their profitability in the agricultural, medical, and financial sectors by means of AI technologies.

Asian countries do not find it necessary to investigate which areas could benefit or lose with AI and introduce their robotic process automation systems to replace human resources in different fields. European countries identify medicine and healthcare as the main areas for improvement with the help of AI systems. In all the chosen sectors, demands for AI are expanded because of the social, ethical, and cultural aspects of global business. Therefore, from the global point of view, AI systems have to be considerably improved by means of new investigations and additional analyses.

Development of Tech Companies Globally

Nowadays, a number of companies from different parts of the world choose the idea of AI and utilize technologies to improve and determine their standards. Despite the fact that many people believe that AI is something difficult or unreliable, most of them continue using these technologies and services. From a global perspective, the development of tech companies meets the requirements of machine learning, democratization, and safety-critical applications (Guedim, 2019; Tannenbaum, 2019).

At this moment, the most well-known companies that apply AI technologies are Amazon and Apple in the United States and DJI in China. It is also necessary to admit such organizations as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter because the products they present are in almost every house. Today, these companies are in top demand, and their services continue developing. AI technologies are implemented to demonstrate how machine learning and chatbots can save users’ time and provide the necessary information. People who work with AI technologies are never ready to stop. All these organizations investigate new opportunities to clarify what benefits are available to them with AI technologies, and their future varies, depending on goals, resources, and potential users.

The Context (Evie.ai)

There are many successful examples of how AI penetrates the world of business and changes its initial processes. Joseph, Lim, and Chun (2018) introduced Evie.ai, a virtual personal assistant for scheduling meetings. The chosen case study demonstrates the development of an AI organization with clearly defined goals, challenges, and solutions made by its founders. The genesis of Evie began in 2013 when Jin Hian recognized that more than 25% of his working time was spent on defining schedules, communicating with people, and other administrative work (Joseph et al., 2018).

Instead of hiring a specially trained person, Hian made a decision to find enough space for his actual engineering and technological goals and use his theoretical knowledge in practice. Evie was funded by several local companies that supported its strategic initiatives and technological innovation. Ruby and Python were primary coding languages, and they were supported by natural language processing (NLP) (Joseph et al., 2018). Minimal implementation costs and the high needs of users to save their time enhanced a quick recognition of AI technology and its models. Evie was designed to reduce employees’ time on coordinating and improve productivity.

Business Problem

Despite the intention to introduce a perfect system for companies, the founder of AI technology could not neglect several challenges of the offered business. In the modern world, trends in AI vary, causing technicians to focus on ethical, organizational, and social aspects. The main business problem was rooted in the combination of technological, cultural, social, and resource factors (Joseph et al., 2018).

The peculiarity of this problem lies in the necessity to search for a solution only after the evaluation of different aspects of the work. The developers of Evie have to understand their responsibility in taking away jobs from people who are involved in scheduling meetings, supporting international relationships, and establishment of contacts. Human capabilities have been developed during the last several centuries.

There are special courses where individuals learn how to strengthen their communication skills, cooperation, and administration. Strategic management is a huge field where millions of people find practical implications for their theoretical knowledge. Evie.au faced a serious challenge it created for ordinary people. As soon as certain improvements are achieved, leaders must decide what is more important, AI-related productivity or human resources’ stability.

Problem Analysis and Challenges for Evie.ai

The analysis of the problem is based on the identification of its technical, social, cultural, and financial concerns. The technical challenge includes a thoughtful evaluation of modern companies. The results showed that not all sectors were ready for Evie due to the already established firewalls (Joseph et al., 2018). The problem is also grounded on cultural diversity and associated misunderstandings. The representatives of different cultures may treat time in various ways, as well as demonstrate their attitudes towards job duties and business goals. Evie was a successful achievement for Hian with his specific security system and expectations.

Other companies did not manage to accept Evie, along with strict social values and raising funds. For example, in some countries and companies, the organization of a meeting is associated with a number of personal decisions and choices. It is not enough to set the date and choose a place. There are many additional factors that contribute to the success of the meeting. Evie is directed to clarify some general facts and combine the answers of the parties. The challenge is the failure to predict all potential factors that influence scheduling and agreements.

Conclusion

Taking into consideration the analysis of the case of Evie.au, its challenges, and the evaluation of recent trends in AI, several important conclusions should be made. First, it is evident that AI is the area that definitely has a bright future. People do not want to quit investigating AI technologies and concentrating on their skills’ improvement and continuous development. Business automation and AI are the two closely related concepts that are used to control various business processes by replacing human labor with electronic or mechanical tools and technologies (Wright & Schultz, 2018). Second, in spite of certain improvements and innovative discoveries, many companies are challenged by AI.

The work of learning and reasoning machines is based on the results achieved, and their developers are not always ready to make the right decision between deductive and inductive approaches to data storage (Guedim, 2019). Finally, as soon as machines and AI technologies are used instead of human resources, it is critically important to make sure that ethical principles, freedoms, and rights are not broken in the system.

Summary of Future Work Design and Jobs

The example offered by Hian with his Evie.au proved that future work designs and jobs must be improved and elaborated in terms of not only some technical factors but also ethical, social, and cultural ones. AI has already become a topic of recent discussions in media and public relations (Dignum, 2018). People want to know what it means when machines make decisions, improve their understanding of development, and choose credible actions. Therefore, instead of removing people from the field of AI and innovation, it is expected to underline their roles, strengthen their training, and improve their knowledge and experience.

AI technologies like Evie.au are characterized by a list of clear instructions on how to schedule meetings, what aspects should be identified, and how to introduce new information. At the same time, society and new systems have to answer additional questions and figure out how to control AI domination over people (Dignum, 2018). Sometimes, the easiest solutions are defined when the correct questions are posed. One of the most important issues in this discussion is to make sure AI technologies are ethically appropriate for people and their work.

Ethical Use of AI

To make sure the ethical use of AI is clear for all the participants, scientists and researchers aim to consider their past achievements and the already developed regulations. For example, Jobin, Ienca, and Vayena (2019) identified 11 ethical issues that should be discussed in terms of AI application in business. The introduction of all AI technologies must be transparent and non-maleficent (Jobin et al., 2019). It means that when people decide to choose AI to prevent harm or reduce losses, no additional problems emerge, and outcomes remain clear. Another ethical benefit includes a combination of justice and responsibility.

It is not enough to meet all legal standards but to clarify if AI mimicking function is enough to cover the duties of humans. Trust, sustainability, and dignity should also prevail in the work of AI systems because people need to understand what they can get with such new opportunities and if their roles in business are not minimized (Jobin et al., 2019). Finally, the access of machines to personal information cannot break the right to privacy.

The Future of Evie.ai

In today’s society, the future of AI and the development of new technological innovations seem to be definite and safe. The cooperation of engineers, scientists, philosophers, and business people must be enhanced in different countries. There are many reasons to support these relationships, and one of them is to help people reduce their unnecessary efforts to stay productive. The situation in the company that deals with the promotion of Evie.au is more or less clear. AI continues evolving, and many companies want to change something using options similar to the one offered by Evie’s founder.

Human sentiments and the desire to stay ethically correct cannot be ignored. Still, it is also necessary to understand that machines are not humans and will never be such. Hian must improve some aspects of Evie’s work regarding cultural diversity, technical variety, and social preferences. Such a tool as Evie demonstrates how ordinary scheduling of a meeting can create multiple problems and be solved with time. The boundaries of AI are unlimited, and the future of Evie.au is to positively change the employment landscape, assist in time management, and be technically available in all sectors.

References

Dignum, V. (2018). Ethics in artificial intelligence: Introduction to the special issue. Ethics and Information Technology, 20(1), 1-3. Web.

Guedim, Z. (2019). Machine learning vs machine reasoning: Know the difference. Web.

Janakiram MSV. (2018). 5 artificial intelligence trends to watch out for in 2019. Forbes. Web.

Jin, A. (2019). Digital innovations, AI, Industrie 4.0: Industrial artificial intelligence (AI) technology applications are among the important trends in digital transformation for manufacturing and Industrie 4.0 advancements. Control Engineering, 66(4), 5.

Jobin, A., Ienca, M., & Vayena, E. (2019). The global landscape of AI ethics guidelines. Nature Machine Intelligence, 1(9), 389-399. Web.

Joseph, D., Lim, W. K., & Chun, C. T. (2018). Evie.ai: The rise of artificial intelligence, and the future of work. Web.

Mozur, P. (2018). Inside China’s dystopian dreams: A.I., shame and lots of cameras. The New York Times. Web.

The rising demand of AI experts. (2019). The Economic Times. Web.

Tannenbaum, B. (2019). Artificial intelligence trends and predictions for 2019. Vision Systems Design, 24(2), 16-17.

Wright, S. A., & Schultz, A. E. (2018). The rising tide of artificial intelligence and business automation: Developing an ethical framework. Business Horizons, 61(6), 823-832. Web.

Young, S. (2019). 10 trends of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2019. Web.