OREANDA-NEWS. September 27, 2016. Even if you really love your job (as we do!) there are bound to be some office antics that drive you completely bonkers. And its not just that these are your pet peeves these behaviors are also interfering with your work productivity. And as you know, nothing good can come from being both inefficient and annoyed at the office.  

Which brings us to our next point: We have really high hopes for the next generation of artificial  intelligence, especially as it pertains to making us less annoyed and more efficient around the office. Heres a few office pains that we hope AI will resolve soon:

1. Being added to email threads that are so old nobody has a clue what its about anymore.

Consider this the virtual punting of work tasks adding someone to an email thread thats been going on since 1998. And with no context! Now the lucky recipient has to scroll through decades of email back-and-forths to try to make sense of it all, and worse: pull an up-to-date action item from it. This is the biggest time-waster, not to mention an inefficient way of managing (punting) tasks.

AI Solution: The Email Eater!

We love you, Email Eater. We love you for digesting those endless email threads so we dont have to. We love you for learning our companys unique jargon and syntax (are you an on the same page or align kind of team?) and distilling it down into clear questions, answers, and action steps. We love you for automatically deleting all of those FYI emails that we really just dont need to know about.

2. Attending meetings you absolutely dont need to attend.

Its not rude to decline meetings! Whats rude is being invited to hour-long meetings where the only thing you learned is that you werent needed there at all. Heres the truth: Your expertise and knowledge does not need to touch every project at your company, thus you do not need to be at every meeting. Wouldnt it be great if there were technology that could automatically determine your value for every upcoming meeting?

AI Solution: MeetingMavenMary

MeetingMavenMary (Triple-M, for short) is that super-smart, omniscient assistant we all wish we had. Now you do! Triple-M scours notes and action steps from past meetings, analyzes the org chart, and makes a recommendation of accept or decline for every meeting invite. For instance, if three of your direct reports are invited to the same meeting, you should definitely decline (as should two of them).

3. That Wait, where did the day go? moment.

This kinda ties into the meetings-you-dont-belong-in lament. How much of your day is spent doing things that dont actually add value to your current projects? Just like you should know how youre spending your money, everyone who has a job needs to have some daily insight into how their spending their time at work. Not for Big Brothers entertainment, more so you can divvy up, delegate, and decline where you see fit.

AI Solution: Productivity Panda

Think of Productivity Panda as Fitbit for time management: not only will it track everything youre doing, but itll also help you work more efficiently by learning your personal work habits and suggesting ways to optimize your workday.

4. When someone ignores an email that requires action.

Its hard to believe that in this era of constant contact, there are people at the office who habitually ignore you. The nerve! Imagine how challenging this is for project managers, whose job is to connect people and deliverables for a single project.

AI Solution: ReplyNowBot

ReplyNowBot is your new frenemy: senders love it, but ignorers wont be too pleased. With emails that require a response (not FYIs or political rants from your grandfather), ReplyNowBot automatically analyzes three key factors:

  • Priority level: How important is this question/request?

  • Complexity: How easy or hard will it be for the recipient to respond?

  • Recipients level of busy-ness (if your calendar is empty, youd better be responding fast!).

If a recipient fails to respond within a reasonable amount of time, ReplyNowBot takes over his computer screen, preventing any further action until the email is dealt with. Of course, ReplyNowBot also learns as you go, eventually filtering out useless questions and automatically denying impossible requests.

5. When an executive sends a vague but important email.

Execs: We love them for their visionary leadership, inspiring presence, and motivational energy. But they speak a different language  one thats sometimes incomprehensible to the lower echelons in the company hierarchy. And theyre busy, so the last thing we want to do is to force them to explain themselves.

AI Solution: Visionterpreter

Visionterpreter is a natural language processing app that culls clear direction from even the most visionary executive email or conversation, summarizing the email and providing the recipient with a list of concrete action steps  follow up with these questions, answer this unwritten question, get a designer to mock this idea up, etc. In no time, youll be anticipating executive needs before the exec herself knows they exist.