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Artificial Intelligence

AI and uncertainty: Setting realistic expectations about what you can accomplish with Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant

Read on to find out what you should expect from AI in general as well as from Mailbutler’s brand-new AI-powered Smart Assistant.

First published

18.04.2023

Last edited

23.04.2024

Read time

5 minutes


    By Irena

    Irena is an experienced Content and Email Marketer who loves animals, slow mornings, and all things Tolkien.

    Spring has just arrived, but it’s already clear that 2023 is going to be the year of artificial intelligence (AI). State-of-the-art AI technologies are being implemented in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, customer service, marketing, healthcare, and, of course, computer software.

    A 2022 study found that 94% of the 2,620 surveyed global business leaders believe AI is critical to success, while 65% buy AI technologies as a product, service, or packaged solution.

    But are there any risks related to AI usage? Can you rely on AI at all times? Read on to find out what you should expect from AI in general as well as from Mailbutler’s brand-new AI-powered Smart Assistant.

    First things first: What is AI?

    AI refers to the ability of a machine, often a digital computer, to perform tasks commonly associated with humans. In other words, artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence performed by machines.

    AI technologies work by ingesting high volumes of training data which they analyze for correlations and patterns. AI systems then use these patterns to make predictions about future states.

    Specific, real-world applications of artificial intelligence include:

    • Natural language processing (NLP) - the ability of a computer program to process and analyze human language (examples include OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant)
    • Speech recognition - the ability of a computer to process human speech and convert it into a written format (think voice assistants like Siri and Alexa)
    • Computer vision - the ability of a computer system to “see,” i.e. extract meaningful information from digital images and videos, and take action based on that information
    • Customer service - the ability of a computer program to answer frequently asked questions, cross-sell products, and provide personalized advice (think messaging bots on messaging apps such as Slackbot on Slack)
    • Automated stock trading - the ability of a computer system to optimize stock portfolios without human assistance

     

    Advantages of AI

    Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. Some of the most important advantages of AI include:

    • Reduces data-processing times. AI analyzes and processes big datasets much more quickly than humans. That’s exactly why AI is routinely used in banking, insurance, pharma, and other data-heavy industries.
    • Decreases human error and risk. When used to complete repetitive and/or dangerous tasks, AI has been proven to prevent human error from spoiling the quality of a product or service and eliminate the risk of injury to humans.
    • Is available at all times. AI systems are available 24/7 as opposed to humans whose typical workday is 8 hours long. This is one of the reasons why AI-powered chatbots are increasingly popular. They provide reliable customer support even during off-hours.

     

    Limitations of AI

    Although impressively powerful, AI has been proven to:

    • Have a limited understanding of context. AI can’t understand all the nuances of human language and communication. AI systems often fail to grasp and master idioms, sarcasm, irony, and cultural references.
    • Lack creativity and emotion. AI is not capable of using creativity and emotion in decision-making. This means AI technologies can’t come up with original solutions to problems.
    • Occasionally provide incorrect answers. Generative AI technologies like ChatGPT can sometimes produce reasonable-sounding but wrong answers. This phenomenon is often referred to as a “hallucination.” Generative AI systems are built on statistical patterns, which explains their tendency to present fake facts.
    • Degrade over time. AI is usually installed into machines that degrade over time. Unless the AI in question has self-repairing capabilities, it’s bound to break down someday.

    What is Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant and how does it work?

    Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant is an innovative digital email assistant. It uses an advanced AI called GPT-3 to understand the context of your email conversations and take action on them. This includes generating full emails and email replies, providing message summaries, and finding contact information and tasks.

    Power of ChatGPT in your Inbox

    Install Mailbutler and access ChatGPT without leaving your inbox.

    To be able to work its magic, Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant needs to access the content of the email you want to take action on, which is why you need to grant permission. You can, of course, change your mind and revoke your permission at any time.

    What to expect from Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant

    As mentioned above, AI technologies have their limitations, and this applies to Mailbutler’s AI email writer as well. This doesn’t mean AI is not useful, but it does mean you need to have realistic expectations about what you can get done with AI-based tools.

    In the case of Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant, this means keeping in mind that:

    • It generates a unique email every time you use Smart Compose, even if you use the same prompt
    • It generates a unique set of email replies every time you use Smart Respond, even if you use the sub-feature on the same received message
    • It generates a unique email summary every time you use Smart Summarize, even if you use the sub-feature on the same received email
    • It might not detect every single spelling and grammar mistake in your email draft when you use Smart Improve
    • It might not find all the relevant pieces of contact information in your received message when you use Contact Finder
    • It might suggest incorrect pieces of contact information when you use Contact Finder
    • It might not find all the relevant tasks in your received email when you use Task Finder
    • It might suggest irrelevant tasks when you use Task Finder

    Okay, so what’s the point of using the Mailbutler Smart Assistant then?

    The Mailbutler Smart Assistant can help you free up large chunks of your workdays by taking mundane inbox management to-dos off your hands. The Smart Assistant can do all the heavy lifting for you, but you need to review its work and make any necessary changes.

    That’s exactly why the Smart Assistant always asks you to choose the next step. In other words, you have complete control over which of the generated results you keep and which you discard.

    Smart Respond feature of Smart Assistant

    The Smart Assistant’s Smart Respond functionality

    Conclusion

    Although flawed and linked to a number of ethical concerns, AI technologies are here to stay. Artificial intelligence will undoubtedly continue to find its way into our everyday lives, so there’s no point avoiding it. What you should do, however, is get the necessary information to understand how a particular AI solution works and what you can accomplish with it.

    Related post: Mailbutler's survey about AI

    Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant is exactly that - an artificially intelligent email assistant. This means Mailbutler’s AI never takes any action on your emails without your explicit permission. In other words, you’re the CEO and Mailbutler’s Smart Assistant works for you.

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