General News and Updates

AI – the best thing to come out since sliced bread!

So much going on as far as AI so I thought it would be fun to just plop all my thoughts in a blog post.

My first computer, a dining room chair and I

I still remember my first computer, a 1990’s Compaq Presario (4000 series I believe). Urban dictionary defines “Presario” as:

…perfect form of. Final Level is reached.

Urban Dictionary


Back then it felt perfect, you’d pop in one of the dozens of AOL CD’s they kept mailing households along with making sure no one was on the phone and boom – you were connected to the world. 

Connected in a way we never experienced before, it was thrilling and a huge turning point in my life. After playing games (literally and figuratively) for a while I eventually figured out how to use an FTP client to upload and change files on a server, this was major but didn’t realize it at the time. 

So you’re telling me if I change the text in this index.html file and then upload it back to my server via FTP , that the entire world can access this file and see it’s content? Now, over 20 years later, I see why I became borderline obsessed with computers, and just the internet in general.

Fast forward to 2023, AI comes out and takes the world by storm. Initially I wasn’t aware of its power – “OK so I can have it write boiler plate content” was my understanding of the technology. I was very wrong.

It was this Tom Scott video that got me looking at AI in a whole new light.

(TLDW) Too Long Didn’t Watch: He uses AI to organize his gmail inbox with labels and uses it to construct queries for gmail itself.

While using ai to construct gmail searches may not seem like much, it did demonstrate that AI can do things I generally don’t enjoy. Things like creating SQL database queries with natural language or help in figuring out what certain fields on IRS forms are for. Trying to figure out new spreadsheet formulas was now a thing of the past. And this was just the beginning.

I’m from the camp that this AI thing will bring more good than bad, we’ll still need to be on our toes as far as how bad actors may abuse it but that goes with everything, no? Anyone that remembers the internet in the 90’s may recall the dark web and how accessible it was. Limewire, Napster  and “Warez” come to mind, 90’s kids understand. There was no such thing as software, movies or shows you couldn’t pirate. Not saying you can’t do that now but it was as simple as a Google (or Yahoo/alta vista) search back then.

So now for the exciting relevant part, using AI to make and receive phone calls – after all this is the FlyNumber blog!

I should mention that the FCC has already made it illegal to spam outgoing calls with AI. This makes sense for obvious reasons but I’m not so sure a callcenter in Africa or India will pay heed. Time will tell.

Imagine having an AI agent answer calls off business hours. Or perhaps have AI call a customer (who opts in for it of course) that just made a purchase to make sure all is good. The possibilities here are really endless.

I happen to be a fan of potential or current customers speaking to a human being if and when required. The problem is it doesn’t scale well, especially if your business model deals with volume. That all changes now.

You could build a very robust system where the AI agent takes care of most remedial “asks” (“What is the status of my order please?”) and then move the call to a live person when needed. Or perhaps have AI figure out if the caller might be a “big account” for your company and forward to an agent to close the deal. There is real potential to fine tune your customer relationships here.

If you’re technically inclined you can do this now. Even if you’ve never written a line of code in your entire life you can use any of the AI tools out there to help you code this into existence. (/r/ChatGPTcoding is a great place to start) 

Here’s an open source solution called RealChar (Github).

You can create AI “characters” that speak and listen in real time. A demo could be found on their site. 

And imagine, we’re just at the beginning of this AI revolution or as I like to call it, a renaissance, what will come no one knows. It’s exciting and perhaps a little scary at the same time. Let’s take it in stride and enjoy the ride. 

By Nader Jaber

Helping people communicate while trying to improve as a communicator myself.

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