Will Robots Completely Replace Administrative Assistants?

Next time you’ll schedule a meeting with someone, you may be interacting with Amy, the robot! A company called x.ai is developing an artificial intelligence application (that is, a robot), that will take care of your meetings. This Computer World article has the details. The company is even looking for beta testers.

So let’s see, administrative assistants are no longer required to be proficient typists (boss does his own typing), know shorthand (boss doesn’t dictate letters anymore), answer the phone (boss answers his own cell phone), and now schedule meetings will be gone as well. (Of course, making good coffee has been out of the duties for ages because in this day and age it is considered politically incorrect, rude, and condescending.) What else is left? Pretty soon, there will be no need for them, unless it will be the poor admin who will be stuck calling Amy!

I know that I’m generalizing — positions for administrative assistants will still exist –, but it is a sad thing to see the devolution of a once highly skilled profession unraveling so quickly.

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4 comments Add yours
  1. It's an interesting commentary. We Generation X'ers have to find ways to adapt to obsolescence, I guess. I encounter it in different ways in my own life, too. As one example, I recently got the dictation software Dragon– this thing is amazing. It types your speech (at normal conversational speed) and claims "99% accuracy out of the box." I feel like Iron Man when he's talking to Jarvis! It truly is amazing. It gets smarter the more you use it, too.

    Despite this incredibly easy way to take dictation, I do still like the feel of a pen gliding across paper. Shorthand does more for my brain, not to mention it's far more private (encrypted) than Dragon will ever be. The machines are listening!

  2. Sorry, didn't make too much sense.I will bet that there will be a swing toward robots as the best thing since sliced bread for a time, but that after a few costly and public errors, people may well be regarded as a better fit, at least for a time.

  3. Admin Assistants are being used for other things. I'm seeing the job evolve and use other skills. But the very busy exec is using them to schedule and reschedule meetings. Those meetings that require more then just meeting (lots of attendees, food, an available room, etc. ), take time away from the busy exec.

  4. They also take and prepare minutes of meetings, schedule meetings with other busy people, handle much of the routine correspondence, and often sets the tone for the rest of the secretarial staff.

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