PARIS ― Since its invention in 1971, email has become an essential part of office life. But writing one can be a tedious — and boring — task.
That’s why many companies are taking advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence to make it easier to write professional emails.
Microsoft is one such company. The American tech giant will soon be introducing “Microsoft 365 Co-pilot,” an AI designed to assist workers in their daily tasks.
This tool will be integrated into Windows 11 as well as Microsoft 365, a set of services for professionals that includes the Outlook email service, AFP reported.
It will assist users in writing “concise and error-free” emails, as outlined in a blog post detailing the project. It will also suggest improvements in terms of clarity, conciseness and inclusive language, to make emails more “polished and professional.”
“Microsoft 365 Copilot” is due to be rolled out to businesses on November 1, although Visa, General Motors, KPMG and Lumen Technologies have already been testing it for several months, according to CNN Business.
In March, the American company announced the integration of ChatGPT-4, the latest iteration of OpenAI’s artificial intelligence technology, into its office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook.
Other companies are also using AI to help employees write emails, whatever their size or purpose. The Warmer.ai platform uses AI technology to personalise any business email in just a few clicks.
The first step is to determine the “objective” of the email, ie, to organise a meeting, answer a query or generate traffic to a website. Once the objective has been defined, all you have to do is provide Warmer.ai with information on the recipient(s) from an Excel spreadsheet, LinkedIn profile or website.
And that’s all there is to it: the platform needs nothing else in order to write a personalised email that meets the sender’s expectations.
Lavender.ai and Emailtree.ai also rely on artificial intelligence to optimise the impact that professional email messages have on the recipient. The former assigns a score out of 100 to your draft email, before suggesting how to improve it in terms of style, syntax and length.
The second allows you to schedule your emails so that they arrive in your addressee’s inbox at the right time.
Thanks to this, there’s no longer any need to log onto your business mailbox between 3 pm and 6 pm on Sundays to increase the chances of your emails being opened and read.
After all, it’s not always easy to keep up with the flow of communication being exchanged and various demands in the workplace, between emails, Slack notifications and invitations to meetings.
A Slack and One Poll survey of 8,000 UK — and US-based employees found that they spend an average of 11 hours per week drafting emails, while other estimates suggest employees spend up to two to three hours a day checking and answering their emails.
Can AI tools relieve the time wasting and assist office workers make better use of their time? Many office workers feel pressure to respond in real time to the dozens of work emails they receive throughout the day.
Expectations of being always on and responding near instantly to messages can weigh on morale and interfere with one’s ability to concentrate.
An overflowing mailbox is often perceived as a lack of organisational skills, the idea that one is overwhelmed by their workload, which can lead to additional stress and anxiety.
Issues that companies would do well to address, whether with AI or not.