The One Thing You Should Definitely Be Using AI Chatbot For
AI assistants, like ChatGPT, offer some surprisingly handy uses for just about everyone. Here are our favorites.
Remember Rosie from The Jetsons or Robot B-9 from Lost in Space? For decades, humans have longed for real robots that could perform tasks like the ones in our favorite cartoons and sci-fi shows. After all, who wouldn’t want a robot to take care of all the things you don’t want to do? While we might not have our very own bots to fold laundry or scope out danger (yet), the future of AI is here, and an AI assistant like ChatGPT can help us organize and optimize our lives.
How, exactly? These super-smart computer programs use artificial intelligence to have conversations with humans and basically act like personal assistants. Think of them as a step beyond Siri and Alexa, not as a competitor that will take your job. They not only give you the information you need—they also can build upon your chats, delivering tailored information for your specific needs, and even perform computer-based tasks for you.
“With ChatGPT and other natural language generation (NLG) tools, people can more easily overcome hurdles and express their untapped creativity,” says Matt Artz, founder at Azimuth Labs. Translation: They can free up your time so you can do more of what you really want. Here’s how you can use them to your advantage right now.
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Think of an AI chatbot like your own personal secretary
You know those appointments you need to schedule but keep putting off, and those work meetings you need to set up? This is where AI chatbots can really shine. Your helpful little AI assistant can interact with your online calendar and identify available time slots through an app like Google Calendar, as well as send out reminders, handle cancellations and reschedule appointments when necessary. This technology is particularly useful for managing appointments that involve multiple participants, such as business meetings or interviews.
And let’s talk about how it can whip your inbox into shape. It can sort through your emails in a flash, identify important messages and even compose responses on your behalf (you can check them before they’re sent if you’d like). AI assistants are excellent at handling routine or repetitive emails, such as responding to customer inquiries or sending out meeting invitations, making them very useful for small businesses that don’t have huge staffs.
How to use AI chatbot as your virtual assistant
To use an AI chatbot as your very own personal virtual assistant, you’ll need to download an app or sign up for a service that offers AI chatbot functionality. These can be free, but some have subscription fees, depending on your needs. Another thing to note: Currently, AI assistants are text-based and don’t operate via voice commands. With that in mind, here are some of the best apps and sites to try:
- Clara: Designed to help with scheduling meetings, Clara can analyze your calendar and preferences to suggest meeting times, as well as send out invites and reminders. One of the advantages of Clara is its ability to handle complex scheduling scenarios, such as recurring meetings or time-zone differences.
- Fireflies: This AI app deftly performs one of the most tedious work tasks: taking notes during meetings and transcribing them for you. You can use it in person, over the phone or via video, and when the app is done with its job, you can share the notes through Slack, Notion or Asana. Unfortunately, this AI is limited to note-taking, so if you want to do anything else, you’ll need another app.
- Hound: Hound can call an Uber, find a nearby restaurant, send a text, look up stocks and so much more. Like many of its AI buddies, Hound is a bit glitchy, with users saying the app shuts down randomly sometimes, and its constant pop-up notifications that remind you what it can do are a little annoying. But again, it’s worth it if you want to eliminate those tasks from your everyday life!
- ChatGPT: An AI language model, ChatGPT is not a stand-alone virtual assistant app like the others on the list. However, it can be used as the foundation for creating custom virtual assistants. And it can do everything from generating natural-sounding text responses to performing a wide range of “thinking” tasks, including solving math problems and summarizing complex concepts. However, building a custom virtual assistant requires technical expertise and resources, and this can be pricey. For that reason, it’s probably best left to large companies and those with advanced AI experience. But you can still ask ChatGPT plenty of questions—and even ask for advice.
Other everyday uses for AI chatbots
Mongkol Akarasirithada/getty images
The benefits of an AI assistant don’t stop at meetings and appointments. We can all use them in a variety of surprisingly handy ways, says Maya Mikhailov, founder of Savvi AI. They can help you plan vacations, research pretty much anything, complete homework and more. Here are some of our favorites.
Plan your next trip
“ChatGPT is amazing for planning trips or brief layovers,” says Mikhailov. “The more details you give it as to what types of activities you are interested in and what kind of traveler you are, the better. For example, try a prompt like, ‘I have 36 hours in Atlanta. Can you suggest a travel itinerary that includes must-try restaurants and music venues?'” It’s like a next-level travel app.
Research historical facts
Want to know about the First World War or if Cleopatra’s parents were really siblings? Ask your AI assistant. While Google uses AI to search for websites that can help answer your questions, AI chatbots will answer those questions directly from their own learning. One thing to remember, though: Some AI, like ChatGPT, isn’t good at finding newer information, since it was trained a few years ago. You’ll have better luck using a search engine to find anything related to current events or recently released information.
Get help with homework
Socratic is an AI app that can help students with math problems and other homework. Powered by Google AI, it won’t do their homework for them or write essays, but it can explain complex concepts and walk them through a math solution.
Translate a foreign language
ChatGPT can translate text, which can be useful for businesses that need to communicate with clients or customers in different parts of the world, or for anyone who wants to connect to new friends or family overseas. Additionally, the AI app Elsa can teach English to those who speak different languages. Simply talk to it in English, and it will correct your pronunciation and give you tips on how to speak more fluently.
Help with basic home repair
Need to unclog a drain? Yes, you can watch one of a thousand YouTube videos, but it’s much simpler to ask ChatGPT for step-by-step instructions, says Mikhailov. Just use the prompt “How do I unclog a sink drain?” and you’ll get those directions in a matter of seconds from the AI’s own learning.
Create bespoke meal recipes
“You can ask the chatbot for meal ideas based on your preferences. This is especially useful if you are vegan or have allergies,” says Robert Brandl, an AI reviewer and the founder of Tooltester. “For example, you would say, ‘Give me 10 ideas for dinner that aren’t burgers,’ or if you have limited ingredients in the fridge, you could ask for ‘Five meal ideas that use carrots and onions.'”
Get inspiration for home design
Ready for a home refresh? Your AI assistant can help! Say something like, “You are an interior designer. Please provide me with 10 ideas for my bathroom that make use of natural wood.” According to Brandl, the more details you provide, the better the results will be. “I would advise giving the chatbot your likes and dislikes and see what it comes up with,” he says. “You could then take these ideas straight to Pinterest to make a mood board. ChatGPT gives you that head start, which is often the toughest part.”
Now that you know what to do with an AI assistant, check out these smart home devices that are worth every penny.
- Matt Artz, founder of Azimuth Labs
- Maya Mikhailov, founder of Savvi AI
- Robert Brandl, AI reviewer and founder of Tooltester
- IBM: “What is a Chatbot?”
- Columbia Engineering: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs. Machine Learning”
- Government Technology: “Understanding the Four Types of Artificial Intelligence”