Workplace collaboration being transformed by artificial intelligence


So Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage these days. AI and machine learning algorithms are increasingly being brought to bear on collaborative business workflows and processes for automation and to enable intelligent conversational experiences. There is a paradigm shift in digital workplace technologies and strategies to make enterprises more conversational and smarter. Such conversational environments require data, content, people, applications and overall technology to be in an intimate contextual flow and persistent.

The incorporation of AI brings us to a new era of intelligent conversational environments and workspaces. We’re seeing a bevy of technology providers respond with sometimes grandiose product announcements, but new products all the same, to address these requirements and play in this space. While some have clearly exaggerated their capabilities, there is significant potential to revolutionize workplace collaboration on the horizon.

The emerging focus on AI is really about making decision support systems more efficient across a multitude of applications, processes and business domains. I believe AI will bring intelligent collaboration capabilities to the emerging Conversational Workspace platforms, represented by vendors/offerings such as Slack, Atlassian HipChat, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook, Unify Circuit, Cisco Spark, RingCentral Glip, 8×8 Sameroom, MindLink, IBM Watson Workspace, ALE Rainbow, Fuze, Google Hangouts Chat, Jive and Nextplane nCore. So I just rattled off a long list of providers and offerings here in no particular order, because I want to make it abundantly clear that there is significant momentum. AI and chatbots are being incorporated in these offerings to improve workflows and to support conversational experiences.

Clearly, collaboration is critical for any organization to succeed. Businesses need to interact efficiently with both internal and external parties and constituents. The most effective way to nurture a collaborative workplace is to foster a culture in which collaboration and engagement are respected and rewarded.

What I’ve referred to as “Intelligent collaboration,” is really about the application of intelligence to collaborative interactions to achieve deeper insights that produce better decision-making at all points in the process. It may include virtual or voice assistance to make interactions easier and more automated. (The best-known virtual assistants are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.) Leading AI systems include a library of process-level routines or “bots” to assist in automating repetitive tasks. We expect other providers will bring similar capabilities to the market.

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