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This AI system lets you focus on the parts of your job that really matter

A new computer system could “revolutionise” the way companies work by giving staff artificially intelligent helpers.

Thoughtonomy, which is based in the UK, has developed software that lets workers hand mundane and repetitive jobs to AI, allowing them to focus on more difficult and important tasks that require human judgment.

The latest version of Thoughtonomy Virtual Worker, the Evolution Edition, runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and uses Azure Cognitive Services in its AI. It allows companies to connect to its apps and services, and update the system with new features, via the internet.

The service simulates the actions of a human worker, making the same decisions and performing the same functions without error, 24 hours a day and at machine speed. Over time, the AI learns the best ways to work and eventually completes tasks in the most efficient way possible.

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It is currently being used to input data, make payments and complete administration tasks by companies in a range of sectors, including financial, media, telecoms, utilities, retail, manufacturing and the public sector.

Financial firm Cabot Credit Management said the Virtual Worker was helping staff be more productive and reducing the risk of errors, while UK-based services company Symphony Ventures said it can “revolutionize the way we and our clients do business”.

Terry Walby, Chief Executive of Thoughtonomy, said: “Industry commentators have referred to the advancement of automation and artificial intelligence as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is no doubt that this technology will change the world of knowledge work and service delivery forever. However, our view is that the future of office work will include a blend of the creativity and judgment that only humans can provide, and digital labour.

“The Thoughtonomy Virtual Worker is an important step in the evolution of the workplace; one that will free up staff to make those larger decisions to improve their company.”

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The technology is being used by companies in a range of sectors, including financial, media, telecoms, utilities, retail, manufacturing and the public sector

Unite BT, an IT services provider based in Turkey, said the platform had enabled them to set up a new division within the company.

“By adopting the Thoughtonomy Virtual Workforce platform, this has allowed UniteBT has been able to develop a whole new division of the company that is dedicated to digital transformation and automation,” a spokesperson said. “This has allowed us to diversify into new areas, offerings and solutions, and offer more services and solutions to our existing client base.”

A report released by Microsoft last year on how companies are using technology to change how they work found that 58% of firms believed giving their staff digital tools was more important for productivity than simply automating workforce tasks. It also revealed that AI could help people be more productive in the office, with businesses telling Microsoft that 64% of tasks could only be performed by a human, but 23% of functions within a role could be completed by technology.