AI Chatbots Are Taking Over Everyday Tasks—Here's What You'll Want to Know

You may even get a new coworker

  • A growing number of AI chatbots promise to free users from repetitive office tasks. 
  • Some experts say that chatbots can remove humanity from everyday interactions. 
  • But chatbots might soon be the primary way we communicate at work.
Robots in an office setting with people sitting around a conference table.

gremlin / Getty Images

Chatbots are heading to an office near you, and experts say it's getting more challenging than ever to tell if you are communicating with a real person. 

Microsoft is rolling out a new messaging function powered by the AI chatbot technology ChatGPT. The $7 per month add-on service will generate automatic meeting notes, recommend tasks and help create meeting templates for Teams users. The Microsoft feature is one of a growing number of AI chatbots in the workplace.

"As of now, chatbots still lack the human element, which is incredibly important in the workplace. Especially in remote workplaces, we crave connection," Craig Goodliffe, the CEO of Cyberbacker, a virtual assistance company, told Lifewire in an email interview. "So while chatbots can be extremely beneficial in the workplace for speed and efficiency, there will need to be an enormous amount of innovation to recreate the support of human coworkers."

Your New AI Officemate? 

Microsoft says the new AI function in its software should boost efficiency. 

"With intelligent recap, you can now save time spent reviewing meeting recordings. AI-generated chapters divide the meeting into sections, so it's easy to pick and choose the content most relevant to you," the company wrote on its website. "This is available today for PowerPoint Live meeting recordings. Intelligent recap will automatically generate meeting chapters based on the meeting transcript as well."

A recent United Nations report on AI said that chatbots could free workers from repetitive tasks. "A chatbot virtual personal assistant could guide skilled workers through different projects or production processes," the report stated. "It can also generate original content and ideas and potentially help to research and develop new products and services."

For now, AI coworkers are likely to handle more mundane tasks. Bob Rogers, the CEO of, a data science company, said in an email interview that chatbots could help with things like scheduling, replying to questions, sharing a weekly agenda, and sending reminder emails. 

"Especially in an era of remote work where colleagues could be on different sides of the world, a chatbot could provide answers 24/7," he added. 

Email is becoming outdated with chat programs on the rise, and chatbots will eventually become our primary interface to coworkers, Rogers predicted. "We already have a few go-to ways to communicate (messaging, sms, email), but chatbots are likely to integrate these into a single communication experience," he added. 

As of now, chatbots still lack the human element, which is incredibly important in the workplace.

The Challenges of AI Co-Workers

As handy as AI-driven chatbots may be, there are a host of privacy and other factors to consider as the technology enters the workplace. 

One risky scenario is cybercriminals and threat actors could use chatbots in nefarious ways, Greig Arnold, Chief Information Security Officer at Alorica, pointed out in an email. "The expansion of 'hacking' company chatbots to steal personal and financial information will be a growing concern and a security measure brands will have to focus on to ensure safety and privacy when used," he added. 

Would you want to know if the co-worker you are communicating with is a bot? It's getting harder to tell, Arnold said. "It was easy to spot them in the early days, as they couldn't follow natural language," he added. "Now, given the sophisticated advances the technology has made, it can take a while before a user is aware they are talking to a chatbot and not a person. This will only get more challenging as chatbots continue to evolve and the more advanced the 'trainers/programmers' are."

William Falcon, the CEO of Lightning AI, said the speed at which a conversational partner responds (particularly immediate responses) indicates that you are interacting with a chatbot. 

Three human-like robots sitting at a conference table wearing headsets and working on laptop computers.

PhonlamaiPhoto / Getty Images

"An important best practice to ensure that the deployment of chatbots in both internal and external use cases remains transparent and ethical will be to disclose that a chatbot is being used in a given interaction," he added. "This will also enable the user interfacing with the chatbot to tailor their prompts and more easily seek out the information they are looking to retrieve."

But it might not be necessary to know if you're talking with a chatbot, Damien Thioulouse, the head of AI at Simplr, told Lifewire in an email. "At the end of the day, is it truly important to know whether someone is using a chatbot to communicate with you if the info is conveyed as planned? An analogous situation would be to wonder if someone uses a calculator to perform a complex operation. What matters is the result, not how you get to it."

Update 2/16/2023: Corrected the source's title in paragraph 11.

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