I have tested the AI assistants from the big guys. I played with Messenger M, Siri, Amazon Echo and now Google Home. It’s obvious it’s going to happen and they will eventually work great. It feels like the hype is way ahead of the product stage though. I still enjoy testing the new updates.
Today those “assistants” really only “understand” and execute basic tasks. “Play some music on Spotify” works, but I can’t say which speaker, so I’m left with crappy sound. “What movies are playing tonight?” or “Hey Google start a timer for 20 minutes” work when I cook. I’m finding more and more things I can do, but these aren’t real assistants yet.
I should try to have Alexa talk to Google Home and Siri respond. Maybe they can help each other :-)
While they’re all machines, Facebook “M” is a hybrid with many humans helping you. “M” has been helpful for example to book a restaurant, but it seems “M” doesn’t know enough about me to be a real assistant (yet?).
I finally got access to Fin, that is supposed to replace your executive assistant. It is mostly human powered like “M”. It is a paid product at $120 a month minimum for two hours then $1 a minute ($60 an hour). A full-time executive assistant in San Francisco might cost you $40–60 an hour as well, but then I have never kept busy a full-time person just myself, so the monthly bill will be much lower. Also, a full-time executive assistant doesn’t work 24 hours a day, Fin does.
After a week using Fin, I absolutely love it. It just works. You say anything using your voice and it will understand it correctly. Google Home, Siri and Echo don’t understand my French accent much. Fin does because a person listens to it (and probably laughs at my accent!).
Fin got many things and food delivered to my house. It did some research to find rental options in South of France. It put together a google doc with a great list of choices with prices and availabilities. I have booked ten meetings entirely with Fin with similar or better results as an executive assistant (Fin also replies at night). I asked Fin to call United for me to find a lost iPad on a plane. All went great. I am about to ask Fin to sell stuff on ebay and craigslist for me.
It’s all on a messenger like UI (most recent thread at the top) and all chat based, I don’t have to talk to anyone. I have a dedicated email address I can send things to or copy Fin to schedule meetings.
Their solution is simple. Humans power it and technology is here to support the team behind it. It saves all your preferences and continuously learns about you.
Note that I have not used the term AI once. One day for sure it will be more like an AI. Today it’s just the best mix of people and tech.
I also like that the product isn’t free. It makes Fin accountable. It also makes me think better about what I ask as I know it’s $1 a minute.
Congrats to Sam Lessin and his team for a great start, Fin is already part of my daily life, personal and business.
-my friend Yann-Arthus Bertrand is doing great private screenings of his movie “Human” in L.A. on June 26, in San Fran on June 27 and Menlo Park on June 28. I will go and he has a few seats for my readers just email Vanessa Portois Wermter at vanessa (at) apropossf.com here is the movie, it’s really amazing and it will be even better to watch it together in a theatre I hope you can join me
-my other friend Salim Ismail just announced his very first ExO Summit taking place just outside of London on June 30. They’ve collaborated with Hult University to bring in leaders who are utilizing the ExO framework to successfully transform their organization and industry. They’ll be diving into the why and how ExOs are designed to win, and how to kickstart the transformation to become one. Here is the registration page and 20% to my readers with this code: ExO-Friends2017.
-use this link if you want to try Fin there is a long waiting list but I could talk to the founders to get my readers in a little faster
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