The development of artificial intelligence is going from strength to strength and is starting to integrate into everyday life. In the business world, some see it as a threat to their role. Yet we are certain Executive Assistants have nothing to fear, if they are willing to see it as an opportunity.
Emerging technology has always had an impact on workforces and the way tasks are carried out. Its tendency to promote labour-saving shortcuts has made workers naturally suspicious of anything that takes responsibility away from them. However, Executive Assistants hold attributes that AI is so far incapable of emulating.
AI can’t have ideas, it is really only capable of following decision trees and thinking in black and white. AI doesn’t have the capability to take people’s emotions and mindsets into account. And it certainly can’t show empathy and understanding – two qualities that are vital to building good working relationships.
Just like when computers came along, they didn’t replace Executive Assistants, they simply allowed them to do their jobs more efficiently and without so much manual effort. The same will surely apply to AI.
Executive Assistants who are alive to the possibilities can use AI to make their lives easier. Mundane tasks can be automated, recurring tasks can be scheduled and it all creates more time for other priorities, such as strategic thinking. It’s an opportunity to become more of a partner than an assistant to the executive.
Using AI wisely could free up time for other, more interesting, things – leaving behind the mundane and unlocking the potential to increase an EA’s value within the organisation.
At present, there is no substitute for the human qualities every EA brings to their role. So, for now, AI isn’t something to be feared. It’s there to be used to every executive assistant’s advantage in making their role more rewarding.