Information overload is a global epidemic, costing over $900 billion a year for the US economy alone by harming professionals, executives and corporate consumers through an overload of emails, messages, and other means of communication.
While not everyone calls it by name, all can attest to the headaches, the decreased productivity and the overall harm caused by information overload. However, the blame usually lands on email, an individual, or the organization’s culture.
This isn’t anything new, as more messaging apps and communication platforms are introduced, digging a deeper hole and rebooting the digital age's Tower of Babel. There are also many so-called solutions, interfaces, and best practices offered, but a one-size-fits-all just won’t do. Only a personalized solution can provide value, which only artificial intelligence can offer.
The Pain of Email Overload
Information overload takes many names depending on the specific the issue and pain point: email overload, messaging overload, or social overload, to name a few.
Corporate consumers who rely on email suffer from email overload, spending tremendous time sifting through the barrage of messages streaming in, resulting in lost time, inefficiencies and decrease of creativity. A true innovative solution is needed, as this is a large-scale problem.
Today’s offerings attempt to help us deal with information overload, yet seem to put us at a worst place than before. They aim to grant a one-size-fits-all solution, but we aren’t all the same, so another approach is needed. They usually fall under:
- Different UI: a user must change the way they work, use two solutions simultaneously for a while, and hope the new tool doesn’t die.
- Email is dead: while frequently shouted, email’s reliability, adoption, and corporate use is still increasing.
- Point solutions: focused but not scalable. Different users have different needs, frustrations and distractions, so one feature doesn’t grant a broad salvation; prioritized doesn’t mean it’s personalized.
The Logical, Personalized Requirement
Understanding requirements, constraints, and dynamics is what users are really looking for. They want a program that can assist them in a way similar to that of a proficient secretary in a classic film about business executives. The key is learning individual needs in pursuit of a personalized solution.
Ideally, artificially intelligence will provide have an assistant that can paint the big picture for you of what’s urgent and must be completed.
Characteristics of an AI Assistant
While it’s a nice concept, not everyone can have an assistant, but the benefits can be available for all – and artificial intelligence will help.
Ideally, it will know you better than you know yourself, learning your behaviors, habits, and needs and optimizing based on a large amount of data. It will also be proactive and reactive, adapting to your needs within a dynamic environment. And finally, and most importantly, it will be trustworthy, reliable, discrete and loyal. With more use, more access will given, and more responsibility will be inherited. Your assistant becomes your communication hub and trust becomes a requirement, otherwise, your assistant will be replaced.
Solving Information Overload with Artificial Intelligence
At an age of innovation, connectivity and accessibility, our digital footprint is clear and granular. In other words, we have plenty of personal data available to help make our lives much, much better.
Combining such precise personal data with computing power available and algorithms, we now have the capability to truly personalize and automate our experiences, per our daily and dynamic needs, in and out of the office.
Once true personalization is a reality, a fully customized and intelligent solution can be granted. So, thanks to AI and our personal data, we can solve information overload by making the electronic secretary a realistic virtual personal assistant. It may be artificial, but it is personal and real.
Read more about artificial intelligence here on Tech.Co