Top 10 AI Assistants for business
September 21, 2023 | Editor: Adam Levine
AI Assistants, powered by machine learning and natural language processing technologies, handle routine tasks such as text generation, data analysis, customer inquiries, appointment scheduling, and inventory management, liberating human resources to focus on higher-value strategic initiatives. AI Assistants continually adapt and learn from interactions, refining their capabilities and personalizing their support, thereby fostering stronger customer engagement and satisfaction.
ChatGPT is an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text based on context and past conversations.
Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done — like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations. You can ask Siri to show you the Orion constellation or to flip a coin. Siri works hands-free, so you can ask it to show you the best route home and what your ETA is while driving. And it’s connected to the world, working with Wikipedia, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Shazam, and other online services to get you even more answers. The more you use Siri, the more you’ll realize how great it is. And just how much it can do for you.
Cortana is your personal assistant on your Windows computer. She's there to help make things easier for you and keep you up to date on the things that matter to you. Whether it’s to keep you looped in with your world or help you manage your everyday life, Cortana is there for you.
Virtual assistant integrated in conversational user interface products: Google Allo and Google Home. You can ask a question for an answer, and follow up with multiple questions, with Google picking the conversation out and returning the right answer.
Jasper is an artificial intelligence platform that helps teams create high-quality content faster. Stop chasing word-count and start pursuing ideas.
Alexa lets you be more productive throughout your day and stay focused on important tasks. Alexa can help you manage your schedule, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. Alexa can help quickly find information for you, like the latest sales data, or the inventory levels in your warehouse.
Bixby helps you unlock the full potential of your Samsung device. By learning what you like and working with your favorite apps, Bixby makes it easy for you to get more done.
Microsoft 365 Copilot - your copilot for work. It combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.
Bard is your creative and helpful collaborator, here to supercharge your imagination, boost your productivity, and bring your ideas to life.
With the new Bing built into the Microsoft Edge sidebar, you can ask complex questions, find comprehensive answers, get summarized information, find inspiration to build upon all in a side-by-side view, with no need to flip between tabs.
on Live Enterprise
Build an AI assistant for a variety of channels, including mobile devices, messaging platforms, and even robots.
Einstein AI is your smart CRM assistant. Make decisions faster, make employees more productive, and make customers happier using AI-powered predictions and recommendations.
Clara is your partner in doing great work — a virtual employee that schedules your meetings.
Oracle Digital Assistant provides the platform and tools to easily build AI-powered assistants that connect to your backend applications. A digital assistant uses artificial intelligence for natural language processing and understanding, to automate engagements with conversational interfaces that respond instantly, improve user satisfaction, and increase business efficiencies.
AI-powered assistant for your business. Whether you're collecting customer data, writing a document, or just looking for some sales numbers, Zia works hard to make your job easy.
Latest news about AI Assistants for business
2023. Amazon brings generative AI to Alexa
Amazon is introducing a generative AI model to enhance the functionality of its Echo devices. This novel model will enhance conversational interactions by considering factors such as body language, eye contact, and gestures. It will collaborate with APIs to facilitate new smart home features, deciphering descriptions like "spooky" lighting to provide meaningful responses. Moreover, it will imbue Alexa with a more prominent and opinionated personality. Amazon states that this advanced generative AI model can adapt its tone and responses to convey emotions such as agreement, excitement, laughter, and surprise, aligning with a person's natural pauses and hesitations to create a more fluid conversation.
2023. OpenAI launches a ChatGPT plan for enterprise customers
OpenAI has introduced ChatGPT Enterprise, a version of their AI-powered chatbot application geared towards businesses. Initially hinted at in a blog post earlier this year, ChatGPT Enterprise possesses the same functionalities as the standard ChatGPT, encompassing tasks such as composing emails, generating essays, and identifying issues within computer code. Priorly, Enhanced Data Analysis was exclusively accessible to individuals subscribed to ChatGPT Plus, the premium subscription tier of the regular ChatGPT web and mobile applications, which costs $20 per month. It's important to note that ChatGPT Plus will continue to be offered, as OpenAI considers ChatGPT Enterprise to be an addition that complements it. What sets it apart is the inclusion of heightened privacy and data analysis capabilities, classified as "enterprise-grade." Besides, ChatGPT Enterprise delivers improved performance and an array of customization options. This positions ChatGPT Enterprise at a comparable level to Microsoft's Bing Chat Enterprise, a recently launched chatbot service tailored for enterprise utility.
2023. Microsoft replaces Cortana with Copilot in Windows
Microsoft is discontinuing its digital assistant Cortana in Windows, considering it as a stepping stone towards the future of AI. Instead of relying on Cortana, users will now turn to a smarter chatbot powered by GPT-4, thanks to Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI. In May, the company also announced integrating this new ChatGPT-based Bing experience directly into Windows 11. During this transitional period, Cortana will still exist in some capacity, but the standalone Windows app will no longer be supported. Nonetheless, users can access Cortana in Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms. To fill the void left by Cortana, Microsoft suggests exploring alternatives like Windows 11 voice access for controlling the PC through voice commands, the new AI-powered Bing, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot, which provide centralized AI assistance for Windows users.
2023. Apple introduces bilingual Siri
Apple has unveiled its initial set of public beta versions for iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma. These releases showcase several new features, including the ability to capture full-page screenshots, a bilingual Siri option, and enhanced SMS sorting for dual-SIM users. Notably, the company based in Cupertino has integrated support for bilingual queries into Siri, starting with select Indic languages. This advancement enables users to interact with Siri using a blend of English and Hindi, as well as English with Telugu, Punjabi, Kannada, or Marathi. While Apple's implementation arrives later than Google Assistant's multilingual support in 2018 and Amazon's introduction of similar capabilities in 2019, it holds significant value for users based in India who commonly converse in a mixture of languages throughout their daily interactions.
2022. Google is integrating Assistant and Calendar reminders with Tasks
Currently, Google Tasks operates independently, separate from other Google services. While you can create tasks, subtasks, and set reminders in the Google Tasks iOS and Android apps, as well as through a side panel in Gmail or Google Drive on the web, these reminders don't seamlessly appear in your Assistant reminders. Furthermore, Google Calendar offers separate options for creating tasks and reminders, potentially causing confusion among users. To address this, Google is planning an update that will be rolled out in the coming months. Once implemented, when users set a reminder using Google Assistant, it will be visible in both the Tasks and Calendar lists. Additionally, users will receive a notification for task completion reminders at the designated time.
2020. Microsoft launches new Cortana features for business users
Cortana might have faced failure as a virtual assistant targeted at consumers, but Microsoft is maintaining its confidence in the platform for business purposes, now rebranded as a "personal productivity assistant" within Microsoft 365. Today, Microsoft unveiled several new Cortana services designed specifically for business users. Among these offerings is the widespread availability of Cortana for the new Microsoft Teams displays, which the company is launching in collaboration with various hardware vendors. These displays can be thought of as dedicated smart screens for Teams, similar to Google Assistant-enabled smart displays, but with a primary focus on meetings. In today's world, it is challenging to introduce a device like this without incorporating a voice assistant, and that's where Cortana comes into play.
2020. Microsoft to sunset Cortana on iOS and Android in pivot to productivity-focused assistant
Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of Cortana on iOS, Android, and Surface Headphones, as the company shifts its focus towards business and enterprise technology rather than consumer offerings. Instead of competing with established leaders in the virtual assistant market, such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, Microsoft will concentrate on integrating Cortana's features into its suite of productivity products, Microsoft 365. This strategic decision reflects Microsoft's commitment to strengthening its presence in the enterprise technology sector, where it has experienced significant growth, while Cortana has faced challenges in keeping up with its competitors.
2020. Google Assistant can now use your voice to verify purchases
Making purchases using your voice may offer convenience, but it lacks adequate security measures. Google aims to address this concern by introducing an optional voice verification test when utilizing Assistant. This new security feature relies on Google Assistant's Voice Match and is gradually being rolled out through a limited pilot program. The program aims to assess the effectiveness of this feature on smart speakers and smart displays. Recently, the Voice Match training feature was updated to include specific phrases, enabling Assistant to accurately identify the speaker. With improved accuracy, Google now considers Voice Match as a reliable additional layer of security.
2020. Google Assistant on Android can now read entire web pages to you
Google has begun the rollout of a new feature that allows Google Assistant to read entire web pages aloud. This functionality includes highlighting the text and automatically scrolling the page as it reads, making it easier for users to follow along with the story. Additionally, the read speed can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. If the web page is in a different language than the user's default setting, Google Assistant can automatically translate more than 40 languages into the preferred language. This feature is compatible with most modern Android phones, dating back to Android 5 (Lollipop).
2020. Microsoft’s Cortana drops consumer skills as it refocuses on business users
With the upcoming release of the next version of Windows 10 in the spring, Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant will undergo significant changes, particularly in terms of its consumer-focused capabilities related to music, connected homes, and third-party skills. As Microsoft stated last year, Cortana is now primarily positioned as a service for business users. The revamped Cortana will prioritize productivity and offer seamless integration with Microsoft's suite of Office tools. Consequently, consumer-oriented services are considered distractions, and Microsoft is ceding that market to competitors like Amazon and Google. Initially, these changes will only affect English-speaking users in the United States, while the rollout of most productivity features for users outside the U.S. will occur in the future.
2020. Clockwise launches an AI assistant for Google Calendar
Clockwise is an innovative startup revolutionizing the way individual employee schedules are managed within a team. By prioritizing "focus time," Clockwise analyzes team schedules holistically and optimizes meeting arrangements. Their software seamlessly integrates with Google Calendar and has been empowering individuals to proactively reschedule meetings. In their latest update, Clockwise introduces the Clockwise Calendar Assistant, an intelligent feature that automates the heavy lifting by autonomously managing meeting schedules for teams. Notably, Clockwise has already garnered an impressive client roster, including Lyft, Asana, Strava, and Twitter. By initially offering their product for free, Clockwise has successfully expanded their user base and is continuously striving to serve a diverse range of customers.
2020. Google Assistant will be able to read texts
Google has introduced a new feature for Google Assistant on Android phones, transforming it into an advanced screen reader. By simply saying "Hey Google, read this," the Assistant will locate the main text on the webpage or article you are viewing and read it aloud to you. While screen readers have been available on phones before, Google claims to have enhanced the Assistant's capability to analyze sentences, resulting in more natural and human-like speech patterns. However, the most impressive aspect of this feature is that you can also request the Assistant to read the content in a different language, with support for up to 42 languages.
2019. Oracle launches digital assistant for the enterprise
Oracle has recently introduced Oracle Digital Assistant, an AI-powered assistant designed to assist employees in managing tasks related to enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and human resources within a conversational interface. This assistant is capable of addressing employee needs across popular chat applications such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, as well as voice-enabled platforms like Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana. Similar to other automated bots, Oracle's enterprise assistant utilizes a combination of natural language understanding and natural language processing to interpret user intentions from their words. Instead of individuals having to interact with different bots for various tasks like procurement or expense filing, or relying on a suite of automated bots provided by the aforementioned apps, the Oracle Digital Assistant consolidates these experiences and recommends one of its 70 to 80 bots to efficiently accomplish the required tasks.
2019. Workplace AI assistant Capacity raised $13.2M
Capacity (former Jane.ai), the startup dedicated to addressing the problem of information fragmentation within enterprises, has successfully raised new funding to tackle the issue through its corporate data search platform. The company has recently concluded a Series B funding round, securing an impressive $13.2 million. Capacity empowers its customers to consolidate all their organizational data onto a unified platform, facilitating enhanced accessibility to company information for internal personnel. This streamlined process is facilitated by a chat interface and directory, enabling employees to effortlessly search for information. The platform offers a high degree of flexibility in customizing how queries are answered and determining the appropriate routing to an on-site representative when necessary.
2019. The Google Assistant can now finally manage your G Suite Calendar
A new functionality has been introduced to Google Assistant, allowing users to effectively manage their work calendar within G Suite. By signing in with their G Suite accounts, individuals can inquire about their workday details using the Assistant. This integration extends to various Google Assistant platforms, including in-car devices and Assistant displays like the Google Home Hub. Currently, the primary focus of this feature revolves around retrieving information regarding calendar events, while event creation through the Assistant is not yet supported. However, Google mentions that users can leverage this functionality to, for instance, inquire about upcoming events and subsequently send emails to other attendees. Notably, Google has not previously positioned the Assistant explicitly as a productivity tool in the workplace, evident from names such as "Google Home" and "Home Hub." Nevertheless, there are instances where work and personal life intersect, and the underlying technology that allows you to control kitchen lights with voice commands can also extract valuable insights from spreadsheets.
2019. Zoho’s office suite got virtual assistant
Zoho is set to release a significant update for its primary office suite products, including Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, and Notebooks. These tools will be enriched with the integration of Zoho's AI assistant, Zia. With this enhancement, users will be able to ask questions related to data in their spreadsheets, and Zia will generate charts and pivot tables as per their queries. Moreover, Zoho has implemented Zia in its document editor and presentation tools, enhancing the grammar and spellchecking capabilities. Additionally, users will now receive a readability score and receive tips for improving their text. In Zoho Notebook, the company's latest note-taking application, Zia will assist users in creating various formats for their note cards based on the content, such as text, photo, audio, checklist, and sketch. This integration of Zia across Zoho's office suite aims to provide users with intelligent assistance and improved productivity in their day-to-day tasks.
2018. Amazon Alexa virtual assistant now available on Windows 10 PCs as a standalone app
Alexa made its debut on select Windows 10 laptops earlier this year, being integrated into a variety of newly released HP, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo notebooks. Now, Alexa is available for download on all compatible devices, expanding its accessibility. With its presence on Windows 10, Alexa aims to enhance work productivity, reflecting its growing utilization in office environments. This trajectory is reminiscent of the iPhone's rapid transition from individual users to becoming a staple tool in the workforce back in 2007. Furthermore, Amazon is actively establishing partnerships with corporate entities. Several companies, including Salesforce, SAP SuccessFactors, Concur, Ring Central, and ServiceNow, have plans to integrate their applications with Alexa for Business. This service was launched last year to assist companies in effectively managing a large number of Alexa devices in the workplace. The collaboration between Alexa and these corporate partners demonstrates the increasing role of voice assistants in optimizing workplace efficiency and streamlining business operations.
2018. Alexa for Business opens up to third-party device makers
In a prior year, Amazon introduced a new initiative known as Alexa for Business with the objective of integrating its voice assistant technology and Echo devices into corporate settings. Today, Amazon is taking a significant stride by expanding the platform to encompass device manufacturers who are developing their own solutions incorporating Alexa. This expansion allows device makers to create products that can be registered with Alexa for Business and managed as shared devices throughout the entire organization. Notable device management capabilities include configuring room assignments, specifying locations, monitoring device health, and controlling the allocation of public and private skills to the shared devices. According to Amazon, numerous businesses, including Express Trucking, Fender, and Propel Insurance, have already embraced the integration of Amazon Echo devices alongside their existing office equipment since the program's inception, with thousands of companies actively participating in this initiative.
2018. Alexa-Cortana integration is now available
Microsoft has introduced a new feature that enables owners of Alexa devices to summon their own virtual assistant, Cortana, and vice versa. With this integration, customers can now access Microsoft's Cortana through their Echo devices and activate Amazon's Alexa on Windows 10 devices and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. In the future, this functionality will also be available on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. Once activated, this integration allows Cortana users to utilize Alexa to shop on Amazon, manage their Amazon orders, and utilize some of Alexa's third-party skills. Likewise, Alexa users will have access to Cortana's expertise in productivity features, including calendar management, daily overviews, and email management.
2018. Google Assistant gets custom routines and schedules
Google has recently introduced two new features for Google Assistant: custom routines and schedules, each providing unique ways to automate regular tasks. With custom routines, users can execute multiple commands with a single custom phrase. For instance, saying "Hey Google, I'm awake" can unsilence your phone, turn on the lights, and read the latest news. On the other hand, schedules allow the automation of a series of commands at specific times and on specific days, eliminating the need for manual activation. With schedules, tasks can be executed without the user having to utter a command. These additions enhance the convenience and efficiency of using Google Assistant for managing daily activities.
2018. Alexa gets smart meeting scheduling
Amazon's Alexa has introduced enhanced capabilities for business users, simplifying the management of personal schedules through voice commands. The new feature, called Smart Scheduling Assistant, enables users to easily reschedule appointments and arrange meetings based on the availability of participants. While Alexa already allowed the creation and cancellation of appointments, this addition provides users with greater control, significantly reducing time and effort. To initiate the scheduling of one-to-one meetings, users need to link a calendar to their Alexa account.
2018. IBM unveiled voice assistant for business and it's called ... Watson
In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the super-intelligent robot Marvin was frequently asked to perform menial tasks, leading to his perpetual state of depression. A similar situation could arise with IBM's AI Watson. IBM intends to utilize Watson as a voice assistant, primarily answering basic inquiries related to weather, traffic, and schedules. Adding to the complexity, people may not even realize they are interacting with Watson since the service is white-labeled. This means that any company can now create its own voice assistant using the Watson Assistant platform and assign it a distinctive name like Ivie, for example. In fact, Watson Assistant is already deployed in various locations, including the Munich Airport and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
2018. Google Assistant arrives on iPad
Google Assistant has expanded its availability by launching on the iPad, enabling users to control their smart home, make calls, send texts, set reminders, and more directly from their Apple tablet. This feature is now accessible on iOS devices in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish, as highlighted by Google. The arrival of Google Assistant on iPad offers a similar experience to its iPhone counterpart, with the main difference being the larger screen and support for iPad-exclusive features such as multitasking with a split screen. While smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple's HomePod gain popularity, voice assistants have even greater potential for widespread usage through mobile devices. It's worth noting that the Alexa app and Google Assistant may not be as readily accessible on iOS devices like the iPad compared to Siri, which can be activated with a simple button press or the voice command, "Hey Siri."
2018. Google Assistant adds Routines and location-based reminders
Google Assistant is introducing two exciting additions: Routines and location-based reminders. Routines empower users to create personalized commands and receive tailored responses. For instance, by saying "OK Google, I'm home," one can activate the lights, adjust the thermostat, and play music simultaneously. This feature was initially announced by rival Alexa in September 2017. Additionally, location-based reminders will soon be available. Although already present in Google Assistant on smartphones, it will now be seamlessly integrated into Google Home devices. Alongside these updates, Google has also recently revealed plans for multilingual support and the inclusion of more languages for Google Assistant.
2017. Amazon Alexa comes to office
Amazon has introduced its latest digital voice assistant, Alexa for Business, designed to enhance productivity and focus on important tasks throughout the day. With Alexa, you can efficiently manage your schedule, keep track of to-do lists, and set reminders. Moreover, Alexa is capable of automatically joining conference calls and making phone calls on your behalf. This move by Amazon aims to solidify its dominant position in the market, surpassing competitors like Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana. Analysts believe that this market has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact with technology. The Alexa for Business Starter Kit, which includes seven smart speakers, is available for $709, providing businesses with a comprehensive solution for leveraging Alexa's capabilities.
2017. Cortana arrived in Skype
Finally making its debut in Skype, Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana now provides users with in-context assistance during their conversations. Moreover, users can directly message Cortana to ask questions or seek help with various tasks. This move by Microsoft aligns with the trend of integrating AI-based helpers into mobile messaging platforms, as seen with Google Assistant in Google's Allo app and Facebook Messenger's own assistant, "M." Cortana brings a wide range of capabilities to the table, such as suggesting restaurant options, providing movie reviews, suggesting meeting spots, offering factual information, and more. Additionally, Cortana can assist with event scheduling and setting reminders, which seamlessly sync with other Cortana-enabled devices, including Windows 10 PCs. With Cortana's integration, Skype users now have a versatile AI-powered assistant to enhance their messaging experience.
2016. Microsoft redesigned Cortana for iPhone and Android
The virtual assistant Cortana hasn't gained significant popularity on iOS and Android platforms. Consequently, Microsoft has undertaken a redesign to enhance its appeal. In the revamped version of Cortana, commonly used "quick actions" have been given greater prominence. While these actions are still accessible with a tap from the main screen, tasks such as viewing your day, setting or viewing reminders, checking meetings, and reading news now occupy a more prominent position within the user experience. The previous black-and-white theme has been replaced with an aesthetically pleasing shade of purple. Under the hood, Microsoft has also implemented speed improvements to make the app feel faster than its previous iteration.
2016. Google opens Assistant to third-party developers
Google Assistant, Google's AI-powered virtual assistant comparable to Alexa and Siri, takes center stage in the newly announced Pixel phone. Following in the footsteps of Alexa, Google plans to allow third-party integration with its intelligent assistant. The company's response to Amazon's Skills is called Actions on Google, despite its seemingly passive name. This program grants developers access to Assistant's software development kit (SDK) starting from December. Through this SDK, developers will have the capability to create two types of actions: Direct and Conversation. Direct actions involve straightforward requests, such as home automation, while Conversation actions facilitate dynamic interactions utilizing the API.ai platform.
2016. Google Assistant arrives in new messenger Allo
Google is set to launch its AI-centric messaging app called Allo for both iOS and Android platforms. The highlight of this app is the inclusion of Google Assistant, a new conversational assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Unlike traditional messaging bots with limited capabilities, Google Assistant offers much more functionality. There are two ways to interact with Google Assistant. You can directly chat with it, as it appears alongside your other conversations within the app. Alternatively, you can summon it while conversing with friends by initiating a message starting with @Google. In both cases, Google Assistant can assist with a wide range of tasks that would typically require a Google search, such as translations, conversions, directions, flight statuses, and even photo recognition. Currently, it is in the "preview" stage, with Google planning to extend this feature to numerous other products in the future.
2016. Siri lands on the desktop
Apple has recently launched the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, which can be obtained as a free download from the Mac App Store. One of the notable enhancements is the introduction of Siri on the Mac platform for the first time. This intelligent assistant is capable of replacing several features of Spotlight, allowing you to effortlessly locate files and search through photos. Additionally, Siri enables you to interact with your Mac by performing tasks like activating or deactivating Wi-Fi, initiating FaceTime calls, setting reminders, and adjusting the volume. The integration of Siri on the Mac emphasizes multitasking capabilities, allowing you to continue working on a task, such as finalizing a document, while instructing Siri to send a message to a colleague, all without interrupting your workflow.