November 20, 2014
Depending on which study you read, we spend “most of our lives” -sleeping, -watching TV, waiting… But I know for sure that a lot of my time is spent reaching out to different companies, or responding to requests, to schedule appointments to discuss their products. This is all par for the course, however, the problem comes with trying to coordinate our schedules to make these appointments fit.
Enter New York-based startup company x.ai which is currently in beta, and their Artificial Intelligence “Amy” product that schedules meetings magically and with minimal input from you. Simply cc her in an email and state that you want to schedule an appointment! She takes care of the rest, and sends you a confirmation email with the set date and time, meeting location & type (Skype, phone, conference room).
Okay, we know it’s not magic, but it really seems like magic when Amy schedules appointments for you. She relies on advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms as well as a set of preferences that are stored on file for you when you first set it up. Some of these options are normal questions that you’d ask any personal assistant, such as which time slots and on what days you are available, as well as any other emails you want associated with your account. You can even add more specific options, such as your favorite coffee shop for meeting or your Skype name, within your welcome email. I have added a screenshot of my own welcome email below.
I have used Amy for going on two months now and found ‘her’ both charming, and very personable when emailing about meetings. Amy will email you back via BCC containing her dialogue so that you can be sure the conversation with whomever you are attempting to set something up with comes across politely, this however is limited to the first two meetings.
Amy currently works with Google Calendar, and can be set to sync up with any personal or business calendar of your choosing. Amy will also cross-reference dates and time, so that you are never overbooked. Additionally, you can simply let Amy know if you will be busy on a certain day and time, and block off her access to your calendar. Microsoft Exchange/Outlook is not currently supported but in the works.
The brilliant minds behind x.ai and Amy are Dennis Mortensen, Alex Poon, Matt Casey, Marcos Jimenez, and a fantastic team consisting of people across different fields of work to insure Amy is everything you could want in a personal AI assistant. X.ai is currently backed by investors such as Softbank Capital and IA Ventures as well as its founders.
For those wondering whether x.ai will have a free personal edition available as well as a professional edition that you can pay for – on your own domain and a custom assistant’s name – this is in the works to come at a later date.
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