The 9th stakeholder

A couple of years ago I experimented with a new personal assistant.

Amy Ingram helped me to schedule meetings. Amy learned when, where and how long I liked to meet.

But what made Amy different was that Amy is an email AI scheduling assistant.

Machine learning.

But there was also some big human learning too…

From the beginning of the relationship, I was learning how to interact with Amy to ensure understanding. Requests being asked and answered, communication sent back and forth.

Then at one point during a conversation, Amy stopped me in my tracks…

Amy said, “One way is to shoot me an email “Amy, please cancel this meeting.”

That one word in there.


Did I need to say ‘please’? This is an AI interaction. How had I been interacting up until this point? Had I been all ‘computer-like’ using command language such as, ‘Cancel Meeting’? Was my human behaviour (ironically) being adjusted by a machine?

Just what is the protocol for interacting with AI?

Interestingly I had been communicating politely, quite unconsciously, as the conversation with Amy unfolded naturally.

Amy has a last name, Ingram. Amy engages in conversation. Amy needs to be communicated with clearly. Amy asks clarifying questions. Amy learns. A relationship was established. I minded my Ps and Qs.

Whether as a ‘User’, a ‘Developer’ or a ‘Tester’, AI is your next stakeholder.

Soon we’ll be working together, side by side. AI will be a colleague. AI will have their own views, needs, processes, requirements and rules, etc.

This world is heading somewhere and how you work is going to change.

  • Hey Joe
    Amy must have been reading your other email and picked up you were saying please to everyone else but her !
    Did you ever run into issues where Amy did exactly what you asked for instead of exactly want you wanted ?

    • Great question, Noelene. I’d not thought about that, as Amy handled things well. There was no back and forth, except relevant stuff to do with times and places, etc. – I didn’t experience any ‘translation’ issues of the type we often experience across languages on projects.

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