The e-tailer’s famous personal assistant could soon be helping arrange your meetings.
The news: Axios reports that Amazon is going to launch Alexa for Business to give enterprise software a way to use voice controls. Concur and Salesforce are already building products that respond to spoken commands, and firms including WeWork and CapitalOne will be among the first to officially implement the devices in their offices.
Why the office? Alexa will get to hear new things by entering corporate environments, and more data means more opportunities for its AI to learn. If it works well—and businesses don’t mind putting always-on microphones in their buildings—it could be a lucrative source of information for Amazon. Not to mention a much easier way for office managers to bulk-order snacks.
But: There’s competition. Cisco has built its own voice AI for businesses, and Microsoft’s Cortana already works with some of the firm’s enterprise software. (Speaking of which: Alexa and Cortana are supposed to be getting friendly, but Amazon tells Axios the news won’t affect that.)
Plus: Let’s hope Alexa doesn’t burst into laughter during a meeting.