I met X.AI’s Amy several months ago when a colleague invited me to a meeting. My first thought was jealousy over his ability to afford an assistant. I later found out that his assistant, Amy, was the manifestation of an AI scheduling service. And then my jealousy went from his income to his place in the beta queue, which I signed up for immediately.
Several months later, after a few polite notes saying they had not forgotten about me, I was invited into the beta. Amy is now my assistant.
Amy hails from New York’s X.ai, a company founded for one reason and one reason alone, to schedule meetings.
Despite the hype and fear mongering around AI these days, X.ai knows that all AI has hard edges over which an experience fails. IBM’s Watson, for instance, which famously won Jeopardy, was not able to take part in the interview portion of the show. Interpreting questions and rapidly searching for answers is very different than informal repartee. X.ai has limited its ambitions to scheduling meetings. It is hard enough to solve one tough problem, and for those of us who spend a lot of time in meetings, we know that converging on a common time for a group of people in today’s increasingly geographically distributed work environment — often consisting of loosely affiliated teams – can be very time consuming, distracting and occasionally labor intensive.
X.ai has created a scheduling service that eliminates the burden of schedule negotiation, as well as rescheduling. Amy, and her male sibling or alter ego Andrew, are a breed of vertical, focused AI, meaning that they are designed to get one “human” job done, not to be general purpose problem solvers.