Businesses already exist which have developed and sell Virtual Receptionist , that handle many caller needs (e.g. call routing).
However, AI Digital Assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri have an opportunity to stretch their capabilities even further. Leveraging technologies such as Natural language processing (NLP) and Speech recognition (SR), as well as APIs into the Smartphone’s OS answer/calling capabilities, functionality can be expanded to include:
- Call Screening – The digital assistant asks for the name of the caller, purpose of the call, and if the matter is “Urgent”
- A generic “purpose” response, or a list of caller purpose items can be supplied to the caller, e.g. 1) Schedule an Appointment
- The smartphone’s user would receive the caller’s name, and the purpose as a message back to the UI from the call, currently in a ‘hold’ state,
- The smartphone user may decide to accept the call, or reject the call and send the caller to voice mail.
- Call / Digital Assistant Capabilities
- The digital assistant may schedule a ‘tentative’ appointment within the user’s calendar. The caller may ask to schedule a meeting, the digital assistant would access the user’s calendar to determine availability. If calendar indicates availability, a ‘tentative’ meeting will be entered. The smartphone user would have a list of tasks from the assistant, and one of the tasks is to ‘affirm’ availability of the meetings scheduled.
- Allow recall of ‘generally available’ information. If a caller would like to know the address of the smartphone user’s office, the Digital Assistant may access a database of generally available information, and provide it. The Smartphone user may use applications like Google Keep, and any note tagged with a label “Open Access” may be accessible to any caller.
- Join the smartphone user’s social network, such as LinkedIn. If the caller knows the phone number of the person, but is unable to find the user through the social network directory, an invite may be requested by the caller.
- Custom business workflows may also be triggered through the smartphone, such as “Pay by Phone”.