Pen Pals Newsletter | VA vs VA

Hello Pen Pals,

In the 1968 sci-ficlassic 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL the computer says, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” It’s the kind of line that stops you cold. The audience suddenly learns that the computer has a mind of its own. Scary stuff.

HAL is a computer designed to control operations of a spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter. HAL was capable of speech, emotion, and logical decision-making. Stanley Kubrick’s masterful movie gave us a dark glimpse of a future with Artificial Intelligence. HAL was like an evil version of Alexa.

For now, despite that memory, I am happy using Alexa in my home, GPS in my car, and Siri on my phone without fear of them “turning against me”. Artificial Intelligence is here and its future can’t be predicted, but certain AI tools can be beneficial in our homes and businesses. There are tools and platforms now that can help with inventory management, data analysis, and even payroll processes. 

You can ask Alexa to play a song, give you a weather forecast or set an alarm so you don’t burn the brownies. But Alexa can’t make a customer service call, compile an invoice, post a pic on your social media, or coordinate your travel plans for that conference next week in Dallas.

Alexa offers virtual assistance. She’s not a virtual assistant. Red Pen Virtual Assistants can use AI tools to help you accomplish all kinds of business tasks. The best part? We’re not going to turn on you and try to cut off your oxygen supply. 😉


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