There’s no doubt artificial intelligence is transforming the very concept of work and, when combined with effective collaboration, the possibilities are endless. In this six-part blog series, I use my nearly 20 years of industry expertise to dive into these possibilities, imagining a world where AI meets collaboration—and work is never quite the same.

When Collaboration Meets Artificial Intelligence Collaboration Assist Ryan Smith 

No one is an expert on everything, which is why using artificial intelligence to gather and share external knowledge would be truly transformative.

The perfect example of this occurred recently when I was at a nature reserve with my wife and she found an interesting wildflower. She asked me what it was, and even though I didn’t know, I knew my friend with a PhD in forestry would. I snapped a picture of the flower and a few hours later I had the response: white passionflower. As the saying goes: “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know that knows.”

That got me thinking: how can artificial intelligence leverage the full power of the internet – the ultimate global repository for knowledge – to support the projects going on inside businesses?

In this blog series, I’ve investigated how artificial intelligence can accelerate pre-work, simplify team selection, transform meetings and more, all with real-time natural language understanding and data gathering. For this final installment about when artificial intelligence meets collaboration, I imagine how external resources can provide unprecedented access to knowledge when businesses need it most.

The Tip of the Iceberg

There’s a tremendous amount of data that exists in your employees’ archives and your organization’s databases, with more created every single day. While having access to this data during project lifecycles via artificial intelligence would be a game changer, it’s just the tip of the AI iceberg.

Imagine if your AI was integrated with a popular search engine’s web crawling process. While it’s serving up email exchanges or meeting transcripts from projects long past, it also provides relevant articles, papers and webinars, searching what competitors are saying on the topic. You can do each of these things yourself—but not at the same time and within seconds.

Beyond the Firewall

Previously, I described how data created within an organization could be indexed by AI for future use. By combining that with available data outside your organization, you safeguard your project from being too inwardly focused, going beyond your firewall to maximize key intelligence.

For example, instead of researching what groups within your organization have undertaken a certain project, you’d receive information about similar projects other companies in your industry have done. Instead of selecting team members from your employee directory, you’d discover subject matter experts from LinkedIn, university faculty directories or industry websites. The opportunities are limitless.

Intelligence Everywhere Revisited

Artificial intelligence can’t stop at the meeting. Ultimately, for this vision to work, AI needs to be pervasive throughout your organization. If AI is present in the work life of each employee, everything they do is indexed. As they work, competitive information and market data from databases around the internet would be available in real-time and in context.

Think about the work done by employees responsible for external research, such as analyst relations and vendor relations teams. Other teams depend on that information. For example, in large organizations procurement must have certain information available about every vendor they work with. Teams conducting research routinely venture out into the internet for external information about the market landscape and leave behind breadcrumbs relevant to other teams in the present and the future. AI can collect those crucial breadcrumbs, saving time and energy by preventing repeat work.

Additionally, your access to the information can develop into a relationship with those creating the artifacts. Through their own business processes, they can then help you answer your questions and gain better insight into how their information is used by organizations. The spiderweb of collaboration points within the organization and beyond are infinite.

To Infinity and Beyond

Where to from here? Who knows. Maybe organizations start integrating their AI-powered collaboration environments with trusted partner organizations. Instead of two or three people or departments collaborating, the future could see whole enterprises sharing data in real-time in intelligent and meaningful ways. Maybe artificial intelligence guides executive leaders as a full peer with insights they never thought were possible. Regardless of what the future holds, what’s possible is limited only by our imagination. Take your first steps by:

Starting your digital transformation. Investigate the key workflows within your organization and determine if greater speed and efficiency is possible by integrating technology.

Embracing the cloud. While we won’t all choose the same type of cloud, the cloud will power the next generation of emerging technologies.

Finding a technology partner. Work with a partner like Mitel who can help you craft a technology strategy that’s right for your organization’s unique needs and facilitate your digital transformation.

Back to the Beginning

Inspired by the concepts presented by Mitel and Google powering the intelligent customer experience with contact center AI, I sought to imagine a future where the scale and reach of this transformational technology could change every facet of the way we work by pairing it with human collaboration. I hope this blog series inspires you to dream big and be excited for the future development of these technologies. At the end of the day, it’s not a question of if; it’s a question of when.

Be Sure To Read These Other Installments In The "When Artificial Intelligence Meets Collaboration" Series.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Uncovering Tribal Knowledge
Part 3: Team Selection
Part 4: Collaboration Assist
Part 5: Intelligence Everywhere

Ryan Smith

Content Strategist

Known as "The Voice of Mitel," Ryan is a technology evangelist with a unique mix of software development expertise, marketing strategy leadership and professional multimedia development. A lifelong learner, Ryan's passion for storytelling drives his proven ability to simplify complex concepts for audiences around the world.  

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