I was Fooled by an Artificial Intelligence Assistant

It started with a simple email: “My assistant Amy can find a time that works next week.” And then Amy emailed me and said she’d be happy to find a time for us and suggested a day and time. Amy was an AI personal assistant. It said so in her signature. Amy Ingram (AI) – Artificial intelligence for scheduling meetings.

But I didn’t notice. I agreed to the first day and time she recommended and accepted the calendar invite. However, I got sick (stomach flu sick!) and needed to reschedule. I emailed Amy and told her I the stomach flu and needed to cancel. She said “ok” and offered a time the very next day. I responded that I would need more time to recover — the following week might be ok. She offered a day the following week. She even followed up after I didn’t respond. I accepted and told her to send my apologies to my colleague. No response other than the calendar invite.

That’s when I realized I’d been fooled. She didn’t acknowledge I was sick, didn’t tell me to feel better, and wanted to reschedule the meeting while I was still deathly ill. It was odd and kind of rude, but people are stupid so I didn’t think much of it. When I finally noticed that line in her signature after the fifth email exchange I was impressed and a bit embarrassed.

This incident was the perfect example of something I’ve been following closely — automated work. Robots get a lot of attention in this area, but AI-enabled automated decision makers could take over duties in a wide range of fields, from nutrition, fitness coaching, and medicine through accounting and financial planning to reporting, law, and logistics.

Amy is just a foreshadow of things to come. Check her out: https://x.ai/

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Michael Vidikan, michael@futureinfocus.com

CEO, Future in Focus

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