The next wave of digital assistants: How AI will democratize helpers for the elite

Your digital assistant of the near future is going to save you a ton of time and keep you from dropping the ball on important things in your life and work.

ZDNet spoke with Thulium's CEO, Tamara McCleary, at the Digital Business World Congress this week in Madrid about how the next wave of AI-powered digital assistants will democratize helpers for the elite.

You can watch the interview above or read the transcript below.


Tamara: When I did my keynote, I talked about Warren, and Warren is Mercer Consulting's AI digital assistant. And the reason that digital assistant is so critical is, think about it ... You and I have a million things that we have to take care of in a day that really don't require the bandwidth of our attention, right? Meetings that need to be scheduled.

Okay, think of the word assistant. How many of us would love to have an assistant with us all the time; taking care of all those tasks, reminding us who this person is, what their name is, what their title is?

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Tamara McCleary at DES 2018

McCleary gave one of the mastermind keynotes at the 2018 Digital Business World Congress in Madrid.

Image: Jason Hiner/ZDNet

You know like having that right there. Being able to access reports from anywhere, being able to do your work without sitting down at your computer because your digital assistant silently in the background, this artificial intelligence that has the machine learning aspect to it ...

This AI is doing all of these things in the background for you; keeping you on time, keeping you organized both at work and at home, remembering the fact that you were supposed to pick up your son, his schedule has changed. Got get milk.

It doesn't matter what it is. The digital assistant is just like having that assistant. That used to be reserved for the elite. They had their one assistant. Now everyone ... It's going to be ubiquitous. It will actually I think, democratize across the entire population the ability to have an assistant help you with your life. To me, that's exciting. I really wanted Warren and I want him now.