Industry Insights: AI-driven Executive Assistants, What Does This Mean For Office Professionals?

Without a doubt, remote working has galvanised the movement towards artificial intelligence. With over half of Canadians working from home as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and over 5.4 million continuing to do so this year, businesses are turning to new automation technology to perform a broader range of work activities – traditionally done by human workers.

Canada – At the Forefront of AI Development:

Artificial Intelligence has become a new, important driver for economic growth. Indeed, it is an exciting field in technology right now. While several countries are racing towards AI supremacy, Canada is attracting the world’s tech giants, pouring mammoth amounts in the region.

Canada is currently in the midst of an AI boom as companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Huawei, and others are spending huge capital on research hubs in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

Canada is also a world research leader and home to extraordinary AI-driven businesses, playing a vital role in the advancement of AI. The country housed hundreds of fledgling AI companies like Element AI and Deep Genomics.

Garth Gibson, CEO of the Vector Institute said, “We’re here to help superstar researchers but our main goal is to strengthen the region.” According to him, Toronto has never seen momentum like it is experiencing right now.

Proof in the pudding: the city added 30,000 tech jobs in 2017, which surpassed the US San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC combined!

What Does This Mean For The Everyday Office Professional?

As global giant Deloitte prepares to cull hundreds of administrative staff, it is clear that a digital shift is happening. New research from Beaming, the business Internet Service Provider, found that the proportion of large companies using products such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant to help with tasks such as dictation, information gathering and calendar management is expected to more than double. Beaming predicts that the employment of A.I. assistants will overtake human PAs and secretaries in medium-sized companies by the end of 2020 and at small firms in 2021.

Across all business sizes, A.I. assistants are already more common than their human counterparts – would you simply ask Siri to schedule a call in your diary next week, or take the extra time to talk to your EA about scheduling matters?

Beaming’s research indicates that the A.I assistant will soon be as prevalent as PAs and secretaries in companies run by 35-54 years old leaders.

Managing director at Beaming, Sonia Blizzard, explained that  “Businesses of all sizes are undergoing a significant period of digital transformation, doing more online and making ever greater use of new technologies. A.I. is gaining in popularity because it augments how people operate in the workplace, making them smarter and more efficient.”

How Will This Impact Staffing Consultants in this Sector?

Canada is also known in AI for its collegial, public and private ecosystems. Indeed, with three research centres receiving a $125M CAD grant from the Canadian government for Artificial Intelligence Strategy development, AI is certainly taking a giant leap forward.

For Consultants working in the office professional sector, they may need to become more IT focused in the coming years, in order to respond to client demand for digitalisation. At Raymond George Consultancy, we’ve built strong connections with clients and candidates throughout the office professional staffing industry. Our Rec2Rec experts always provide you with the latest market insights so that you’re fully informed about the next steps in your career.

If you’re intrigued to find more of our insights you can check out our latest articles here. Alternatively, speak to a member of our expert team for tailored, professional advice.

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