So far digital workplaces and Intranets have been web based portals and mobile apps through which employee’s login and perform actions. This user behaviour is going to shift dramatically over the next couple of years with the invent of numerous AI services made available by Microsoft, IBM, Google and others. The possibilities are truly endless.
One Scenario is, we would start seeing a shift from a web based Intranet portal to allowing employees getting what they want through various chat channels like Facebook messenger, Skype and WhatsApp. As an example, if someone wants to find out what the latest is in their company or department, they just need to type a simple query in one of the numerous channels or just ask the question in the language of their choice and using Microsoft's Cognitive Services, the language will be translated and the request will be sent to LUIS to understand the intent and information will then be surfaced in the chat window effortlessly for the employee.
It will start getting more exciting with things like, "Submit a leave application for next month from the 4th to 6th" and for chat bot to submit a leave application on behalf of the employee using the existing leave application tool in the company.
Similarly, things like "Show me available 3 people meeting rooms between 3 and 4 today" and being able to book a meeting room. To request for a projector, probably a command to book the projector between 2pm and 3pm tomorrow. For the management, they can just type queries into the chat bot and ask things like "how many leads have we got this week", "how many deals are at 80%", "what is our net profit to-date this month" and all this information will be available to them instantly without even opening a mobile app or browser. Every Employee's personal secretary.
The best part is these personal assistants will communicate with various third party apps like Quickbooks, HubSpot, JIRA, etc to pull this information. This is how we see the near future of Digital Workplaces and at Hubfly we have already started building these engines.
There are already heavy investments being made in AI. Microsoft announces Artificial Intelligence (AI) as one of its top priorities recently. Last year the company’s annual report does not have any mention of AI, but this year there are 6 mentions of it. Microsoft even made a change to its Official Mission statement to include its commitment to use AI. Here is an interesting article about the company’s acquisition of many AI startups.
We know Google is already far ahead in the curve with AI and its research. Google is in its attempt to make its DeepMind AI more ‘human’. Apple is already in the game too with its Machine Learning Journal. All these three tech giants have already transformed our lifestyles. Now, with their focus shifting to AI, we could soon witness tremendous changes to the Digital Workplaces too.
So whatever your business, start seriously looking at AI and see how that could disrupt your business model. The change has already begin and you have to start NOW if you don't want to be left behind.