FREE SHIPPING in the US
Year End Sale
Designed by X.AI, Amy is a simple scheduling tool – with a persona. It’s a good example of how technology can take our working lives to the next level, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur running a startup or the CEO of a multinational. IBM, for example, has been working on machine learning for years, but as humans we don’t really respond warmly to anonymous bots. However, when they are presented as real people (sometimes clients don’t even realise Amy isn’t a human), we immediately feel more appreciative of their value.
What exactly are virtual assistants (VAs)? Not to be confused with human PAs who work remotely – sometimes in overseas countries such as India – these software agents are powered by artificial intelligence. (They are sometimes referred to as ‘automated’ or ‘digital’ personal assistants.) According to research and advisory company Gartner: “VAs use semantic and deep learning, natural language processing, prediction models, recommendations and personalisation to assist people or automate tasks. VAs listen to and observe behaviours, build and maintain data models, and predict and recommend actions.”
The main benefits to using a virtual personal assistant are based on saving time and money. Although there will be a cost involved, it won’t be anything near as expensive as using a human PA who expects a salary. However, as we know from conversing with Siri or Alexa, their abilities are limited to specific tasks, so you won’t be able to ask Amy to pick up your dry cleaning, for example. As the technology becomes adopted by the mainstream, now is the time to start engaging with it and see how it could work for you.
As businesses around the globe shift to hybrid working, ‘virtual offices’ – where distributed workforces come together mostly online – might find their staff benefit more than most from virtual assistants. Having the freedom to work from wherever suits you best – whether it’s the corporate HQ, home or a local flexspace – is perfectly complemented by the ability to take your assistant from place to place.
Angus Gregory, chief executive of VA software company Biomni, which has developed the Tenjin VA, was reported by Raconteur as saying: “The current crisis has made many realise they need to access their work resources from anywhere, easily and intelligently, as if they were searching on Google, whether it’s a holiday form from human resources or a pricing sheet from finance. These requests were easier when everyone was in the office. Now these tasks can be fully automated and delivered remotely.”
If you find texting and emailing a waste of time, you will be pleased to know that in years to come, there will be a wholesale shift towards voice-based interactions with VAs, with evolved versions of Google Home voice-responsive speakers appearing in offices. Speaking is almost always quicker than typing and, as AI natural language processing rates improve, voice-controlled PAs will help us multitask better (a board meeting could be concluded by verbally asking Amy to book a taxi for a director, send a transcript of the minutes or tell people what appointments they have in the afternoon).
* Source: Magazin UK
SONY PlayStation PS5 Gaming Console Teardown
Compared to the Xbox Series X, the PS5 stands out with a far stronger launch lineup and a more innovative controller. But Sony has always been better at nabbing enticing exclusives. And, of course, it has the rights to popular characters like Spider-Man. But if you’re more interested in a wide variety of games, as opposed to big budget exclusives, Microsoft may have the leg-up with its GamePass subscription service. That gives you access to a rotating library of titles, all of Microsoft’s first-party games, as well as games from EA Play and eventually Bethesda, all for a single monthly fee. That’s something Sony is trying to imitate with its PS Plus Collection free games, which now gives you access to popular PlayStation titles for free. But while those games are great, they include plenty of titles like God of War and Uncharted 4 that many PlayStation fans likely own already.
With the PS5, Sony has managed to deliver a truly next-generation console, even if it went a bit overboard on the design. Its controller is genuinely innovative, and it actually has a bunch of new games you’ll want to play. But I won’t say that Sony has won the next-gen war just yet — maybe just the launch battle. Microsoft remains a strong competitor, especially with Game Pass, xCloud streaming and Bethesda under its wing. But in the end, it doesn’t even matter if there’s actually a decisive winner — just be happy you’ve got two solid consoles to choose from that can take on gaming PCs.
Razer BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Refurbished
Razer BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Refurbished
Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys.