AI Assistant Explained: Complete Guide for 2023

If you dive into the topic of what is an AI assistant exactly, you are probably confused by now. To be honest, I can not blame you for that. The reason behind this is that people use AI assistants interchangeably with AI virtual assistants in the common language.

In this article, we break down what is exactly an AI assistant, what are the categories of AI assistant and how you can use it in your business.

What is an AI assistant?

An AI assistant, also known as an artificial intelligence assistant, refers to any digital tool or application that utilizes generative artificial intelligence technologies to perform specific tasks, answer questions, or carry out commands.

AI assistants are frequently cloud-based, so you can access them virtually anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection.

How does an AI assistant work?

AI assistants use artificial intelligence, more specifically, generative AI technology. Generative AI creates new content or data based on patterns and examples by using machine learning.

Generative AI models use text input for text generation, image generation, video creation, or music composition. Due to machine learning, AI assistants can learn from past interactions, improving the accuracy of their responses over time. 

Generally, there are two ways how you can interact with generative AI tools. It can follow voice commands by utilizing natural language processing for speech recognition. Also, AI assistants are capable of understanding text messages.

For instance, ChatGPT understands text messages, while a Google assistant uses voice commands.

Cloud computing is another crucial technology that plays a significant role. AI assistants can access extensive data to handle various tasks and deliver instant feedback to your queries. 

What are the categories of AI assistants, and how can you use them

There are more types of AI assistants depending on the type of tasks and their functionalities:

AI personal assistant (AI virtual assistant)

If you hear the terms like AI assistant, virtual assistant, automated personal assistant, or intelligent personal assistant, just remember they all refer to the same thing: AI personal assistants.

An AI personal assistant is software designed to understand natural language voice and text commands and carry out tasks for the users. It focuses on tasks mostly handled by human personal assistants or secretaries in the past. 

One of the most common types is the AI voice assistant. It has the ability of speech recognition, and you can communicate with it by voice interaction in multiple languages. I am sure you have come across names like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri before, as they are some of the most popular AI voice assistants out there.

People who use “AI assistant” and “personal AI assistant” or “AI virtual assistants” are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same. 

An AI assistant has broader functionalities, while personal AI assistants are often designed to support an individual’s daily activities, work, or lifestyle. People use AI personal assistants for various tasks. Personal AI assistants are great for increasing productivity, controlling your smart devices, and capable of sending messages, and making phone calls. 

AI writing assistant

Content creation is one of the issues when AI can do a lot for your business. Generating content is a time-consuming process. Unsurprisingly, most businesses invest between 2 and 5 hours to craft a single blog post. And when it comes to Instagram, the average time spent on creating a post ranges from 30 to 85 minutes.

Let’s do a quick math and calculate how long it takes to create one blog post and daily social media post weekly. It can add up to 4.5 to 12 hours per week, not to mention the brainstorming phase of content creation. 

Jasper AI
Jasper is a popular tool that helps in content creation

The goal of AI writing assistants is to speed up the process of content creation. For making a blog post, you can use tools like Jasper to be more effective, which reduces 80 percent of your time spent on first drafts. AI writing assistants are great at creating outlines for your content, giving you excellent suggestions for titles and brainstorming.

Although using AI writing assistants will make you more productive, overusing them can hurt your content. One of the main issues which still frequently arises with AI writing assistants is that the output is not always accurate. Furthermore, many AI writing assistants still have room to improve in plagiarism-free writing. 

The best thing you can do is to go through as many reviews as you can to make sure the specific AI writing assistant is a good choice for you.

AI coding assistant

AI coding assistants are a valuable tool to support software developers. It helps to reduce the time spent on code writing using autocomplete functionalities. AI coding assistants can also help reduce the number of coding errors by providing instant feedback to the developers.

According to Microsoft’s research, developers can perform tasks 55,8 percent faster when utilizing an AI assistant. They selected a group with an average coding experience of 6 years and an average coding experience of 6 years and spent 9 hours coding daily. 

The improvement of AI coding assistants will not likely stop. Google announced a partnership with Replit at the end of March. Replit is a software startup that has web-based coding tools with more than 20 million users. Thanks to the partnership with Google, they are planning to combine Google’s artificial intelligence language models with their products. 

AI meeting assistant (AI meeting manager)

It is not a secret that many businesses waste significant time and money on unproductive meetings. AI meeting assistants can help you in many ways to reduce wasted money and time to make you more productive. 

Benefits of AI meeting assistants (AI meeting manager)
Benefits of AI meeting assistants

Meeting records

You can entirely automate your meeting by integrating AI meeting managers with your Google or Microsoft calendar. For example, or Otter AI is one of the AI meeting managers which seamlessly joins and records your meetings on platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. 

Automated meeting notes

AI writing assistants can record and transcript the virtual meetings. By integrating AI meeting assistants with your Google or Microsoft calendar, you can entirely automate your meeting notes

This automation saves you the hassle of manually setting up recordings and captures important discussions and details. 

Meeting Summary

Once the video calls are concluded, your AI meeting manager takes care of sending meeting summaries to the colleagues who missed the call.

Virtual meeting analysis

AI meeting assistants already provide insight into speakers, topics, sentiments, and more. With this comprehensive data, you can easily compare trends and evaluate the overall quality of your team’s conversations.

Schedule meetings

AI meeting assistants’ features help you prioritize and schedule tasks in your calendar. It ensures that tasks are placed on the right day and time to ensure you can complete them well ahead of your deadlines.

Better search capabilities

You can use your AI meeting manager to find keywords in the online meeting, including action items, dates, times, metrics, questions, sentiment, and more.

Create video clips or highlight with transcripts

Some AI meeting manager tools already offer the option to create an easy-to-share video based on the selected part of the meeting transcripts. By selecting text in the meeting transcriptions, you can create video clips to share the essential part of the meetings with the key stakeholders in minutes.

In this article, I ranked and reviewed the eleven best AI meeting assistants to help you select the one that suits your needs.

AI assistant vs. chatbot

You might wonder whether an AI assistant and chatbot are the same or what is the difference between them.

Good question. Let’s break it down. 

Rule-based chatbot and AI-powered chatbot

There are two types of chatbots. Traditional chatbots are rule-based chatbots, while there are AI-powered chatbots. AI-powered chatbots use conversational AI technology, which is quite similar to the technology used by AI assistants. 

Conversational AI includes a wide range of AI solutions that utilize data, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide voice and text-based output. This technology helps AI powered-chatbots or AI assistants naturally interact with humans. 

For example, ChatGPT is a conversational AI chatbot, while many of the chatbot used for customer service is mainly rule-based chatbot. 

From a technology perspective, there is no significant difference between AI assistants and AI-powered chatbots.

Nevertheless, there are major differences between AI assistants and traditional rule-based chatbots

What difference between an AI assistant and a rule-based chatbot

While chatbots and AI assistants use natural language processing to understand the intent behind the user’s queries, there are essential differences. 

Chatbot has a rule-based structure with predefined answers that can mostly handle frequently asked questions. AI assistants have the ability to answer more complex questions and make recommendations using machine learning. 

Furthermore, the chatbot mainly provides robotic answers, while an AI assistant can answer in a more human-like way.  

In general, chatbots are great when it comes to handling simple problems. However, AI assistants can deal more effectively with complex issues. 

AI assistant vs chatbot
Difference between an AI assitant and a rule-based chatbot, Source: freshworks

Future of AI assistants

As with all disruptive technology, AI is very divisive. Some choose to ignore its potential and pretend it doesn’t exist. While on the other hand, there are individuals with incredibly high hopes and expectations for what AI can achieve very shortly. 

This is mainly because AI technology is evolving at such a high pace. It is challenging to understand what implications it may have. In the current stage of the AI industry, separating the hype from the reality is crucial.

Ai startups hype
Gartner Hype Cycle

Yes, there is hype around AI. And this hype is getting closer to the peak of the inflated expectations phase in the Gartner Hype Cycle. 

Just because there is hype, AI is still a transformative force. AI assistants and tools are getting better and better. Although it has limits and has room to improve, you can already reach significant advantages if you implement AI assistants into your everyday working routines. It highly affects fields like sales, task and project management.

While the idea of AI replacing humans is a topic of discussion, it is not the right question now. The question you should focus on is how you can add more value and be more productive while delegating various repetitive tasks to the AI assistant.

AI technology will change how fast you can give more value rather than the concept of value. AI technology alone cannot create value; instead, it acts as a catalyst to enhance your abilities and efficiency once you know how to utilize it effectively. Ultimately, embracing AI as a productivity tool helps you to work smarter, faster, and with greater impact. 

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