Virtual Assistant Apps vs. Real VAs: A Review
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AI, Assistant Apps, and Real Freelancers
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing and popular technologies now widespread, used by almost everyone, at home and for business.
From large organizations and companies to small businesses, AI is prominent. According to DataProt:
- 37% of businesses employ AI
- 9 out of 10 leading companies have investments in AI technologies
- The global AI market value is expected to reach $267 billion by 2027
Artificial intelligence helps businesses take on business operations more efficiently and effectively. Large and small businesses alike gain access to the same tools and expertise needed to stay ahead of the competition.
However, many have expressed their concerns about employment opportunities. With the growth of AI and machine learning, people are starting to worry. According to CompTIA:
- 38% of employees expect their job to be automated by 2023.
- 13% expect AI to eliminate positions entirely in their industry.
But the real question is, do AI assistants apps really measure up to skilled freelancers? Are business operations really going perfectly with AI apps? We review some for you.
Hootsuite is ubiquitous, a social media management platform that handles every part of your social marketing plan– whether scheduling posts or measuring analytics. Some of its functions include:
- Manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard
- Schedule posts for the future or past (up to two weeks)
- Upload content across different social media channels
- Monitor social media conversations and trends
- Engage with your audience directly through the dashboard
- Analytics and reporting tools to help measure the performance
Hootsuite’s AI evaluates data and audience engagement from your social media accounts to tell you what content is performing better, and what types of content you can publish. Results are presented in easy-to-read charts and can be exported as Excel, PowerPoint, PDF and CSV, making it easy to share within the organization.
Fyle is an AI-powered expense management app. It’s a key player in the expense management space, and it has integrated with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. It also has a Chrome extension. Some its features include:
- Real-time data extraction
- Expense reports
- Real-time policy checks
- Travel advances and travel requests
- Tracking corporate cards
Fyle is widely used by businesses to manage their expense sheets and more. The recent launch of its Google Chrome extension and G Suite Add-ons now allows users to report expenses from email receipts in a one-click process.
LivePerson is a voice experience and automated messaging platform that manages customer interactions across marketing channels. LivePerson performs the following:
- Manages customer conversation
- Uses engaging bot conversations to retain customers
- Assist customers on purchase processes
- Connects with Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Amazon Alexa, etc.
- Reduces costs and response times by automating resolutions
You can also train algorithms through supervised learning to improve user experience. With LivePerson, you can interact and address customers with automated messaging.
Khroma – graphic
Khroma uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help designers in color design. You can streamline your color workflow by combining your favorite hues with an AI algorithm. Some of its functionalities include:
- Builds, detects, and stores color palettes
- Generate and block colors
- Analyze website screenshots
- Link color palettes to respective market segments
- Search future to filter colors you’re looking for
Khroma helps designers combine and choose color palettes for different clients when using their brand colors. It allows you to look for color schemes by industry, tone, or emotion. You can create a library of your preferred combinations.
WriteSonic, Jasper and other writing AI
These platforms help businesses with their content marketing, generating content based on industry, style and tone, keywords and content already online. They also provide outlines you can use as guides when writing.
WriteSonic claims to be above the rest, generating long-form content, 1500 words, “in 15 seconds.” Key features include:
- High quality content for your brand in minutes
- Auto-generated blog posts
- Optimized articles in just seconds
- Give your writing the perfect tone, flow, structure and voice
- Analytics and reporting
These platforms help content writers start their articles in the right direction. It also helps businesses track their content performance and make improvements.
TensorFlow is designed to help businesses and developers build and train machine learning models that fit business needs. It has multi-layered hubs that lets you set up and test huge datasets. Some of its features include:
- Serves direct path for the production
- Has high-level Keras API to build and train models
- Supports powerful experiments
- Accessible syntax
- More network control
TensorFlow regularly updates in the ecosystem, perfect for researchers and developers.
AI assistant applications can indeed streamline your business operations, with data-driven technologies and advanced analytics.
However, AI apps are mere tools still in need of a skilled person to operate them.
AI apps cannot eliminate skilled specialists. Talent remains in high demand with 97 million specialists needed in the AI industry by 2025.
Skilled freelancers still have a lot, if not MORE to offer, which are still largely absent from AI VA apps (and would stay absent, hopefully, because everyone from Stephen Hawking to Steve Jobs deem artificial intelligence too scary for mankind).
1. Versatile skill sets
- They come with all manners of skills, training and experiences.
- It’s easier to switch programs and modes.
- They are capable of working remotely with very little instruction.
- Less ramp up time teaching someone new about the job/project.
When you hire directly or utilize specific skill sets, a freelancer is an excellent resource particularly in managing off site teams regardless of your project. A lot of freelancers are capable of working remotely with very little instruction. This reduces time spent on showing someone the ropes to complete tasks and projects.
2. Cost effective
- You pay only for their service time.
- You are the boss and you can be picky with the standards of their work.
You pay only for time spent on projects as opposed to late starts and coffee breaks. Granted, you’ll want to verify with your potential freelancer whether they round up their time spent on tasks to the nearest quarter hour which is a common practice for freelancers paid hourly. They are not only paid hourly, but you can fire them if they give you sub-standard work. You are the boss and you can be picky with the standards of their work.
3. Expertise with tools and platforms
- Gain access to the latest technologies.
- Acquire knowledge on tech best practices.
Whether you’re a starting small business entrepreneur or a huge company, you will encounter the latest gadgets, software, apps and tools relevant to your business. The freelance realm is always updated with what the Internet is offering, which in turn will help you advance as well.
4. Human to human approach
- Plan agendas with a real person who knows how real life works.
- More personalized approach in managing your time and resources.
Professionalism is absolutely needed to work effectively with a freelancer, but you’ll need the touch of humanity as well.
Freelancers are humans like you who relate with your struggles and life experiences, making them more equipped to manage business endeavors that overlap with the goals and visions which make your business unique because they ultimately stem from your personal growth and insights.
Skilled freelancers and AI apps let you run your company with economy, downscaling and expanding as needed, especially when you outsource to highly skilled teams. This makes freelancers and apps in demand in this age of the cloud’s sharing economy.