Follow up from x.ai

Before Thanksgiving I published the results of an extensive test of an artificial intelligence tool called x.ai. I had some concerns about the functionality, and I received this letter from the x.ai staff with thorough and thoughtful answers to my points. Yea for customer service! See below for the letter in its entirety.

More x.ai updates: I ended up scheduling close to 30 meetings. Some of the wires were crossed in terms of time zones, but in every case, it was human error. For the most part, it was an easy experience for all of us. But today I received my first and only note from an exasperated person who was tired of going back and forth with Amy. Here’s her note:

Hi Amy, or Molly? I LOVE Beth. And I am not trying to be difficult in the least. The scheduling of this appointment makes me reluctant to look at my email. And, I need to look at my email. As part of a super-mall, two-person not for profit with a BIG mission, I participate in a lot of bicoastal calls. In the scheduling of such calls, the time differential is always considered. Working a bazillion hours a week, it does happen that I have to schedule a call in the evening. I have a small child. I have found that it is not fun and not conducive to a productive call. And Friday nights? Well, those are just not meant for conference calls…. My suggestion is that we take a break from this today. And revisit it next week. I am happy to answer any questions Beth has. If emailing them to me is easier, I am happy to do that. I do want to be helpful, I believe in her and support her endeavors. Scheduling the all has just become a nightmare. In all sincerity, I hope you have a great weekend!

***
Hi Beth,
We came across your review of x.ai. We’ll first start off by saying that we love when customers write about us and really appreciate feedback in general, so thank you for that!
I wanted to address/answer a few of the questions that came up in your post:
An annoying point: Amy has full access to my Google Calendar, so I was quite surprised to see that she didn’t automatically put the confirmed meeting into my schedule. Instead I had to accept the meeting. It’s a small task, but if you’re trying to cut down on your own emails and tasks, it seems to be an unnecessary step. 
Currently while Amy has full access to view your calendar, she isn’t yet able to insert events directly into it in your name (although we do want to add this feature in the future). That said, you should be able to have Amy’s events automatically added to your calendar by adjusting your Google calendar settings. In Google calendar, you can set to automatically add invites to your calendar by going into your calendar settings, then scroll down to the bottom. You’ll find the Automatically add invitations to my calendar section. Make sure to check off the “Yes” option then hit save.
Another annoying point: When Amy puts the event on my calendar, she does not include Sandy’s email — just the phone number. It would be handy to have all the info about the meeting in the event on the calendar — including the original email, for example? I just received a new tip email that talks about a new feature that lets you tell Amy what the title of the meeting should be, but that’s not necessarily enough info.
Fair feedback. There are a couple potential work arounds for these points, but it’s definitely something we can improve as well. The current work arounds:
1) For finding Sandy’s email, there are a couple places it currently appears. One is that if you are looking at the event itself on your google calendar and click “more details,” the event will load with more specifics including a participant list on the right hand side. Hovering over any participant will display their email. Alternatively, if you are looking at the invite Amy sent to your inbox, then you can check out the “to” field of that invite to see the full list of recipients.
2) In addition to asking Amy to set the title of an event to something in particular, you can use much the same method for asking her to add some custom information to the notes field of an invite. Just let her know: Amy, add to notes: “Agenda for the meeting: Icebreakers, brainstorm synergies, action Items for next meeting”
An annoying point: Amy did not include Jennifer’s email in her note so I had to go look it up. This may not be as big of a problem if you’re scheduling one meeting a time, not scheduling a whole bunch of calls at once like I am.
Totally hear you on this – adding some more information to these notes (either the full first and last name, email address, or both) is an improvement we plan to make in the future.
 
ASSIGNMENT FOUR: REQUESTING A SPECIFIC DATE
RESULT: F.
Two main problems with this meeting – a bug with Amy and then a mistake made by our Customer Success team. The bug was one where Amy was having trouble with time periods in the format of “Let’s meet on DATE after TIME,” where she would incorrectly offer times starting on the day after the specified date instead. Our engineers found and fixed the bug, so it shouldn’t happen again. Our error on the customer success side was that due to a quirk in our CS management software, the reply we wrote you explaining the bug and how to move forward was accidentally sent to only Ginny (your guest in the meeting who you had copied on the email to us at help) rather than both of you. This was absolutely a mistake on our part and we’ve worked out how to catch these cases going forward so it doesn’t happen again.
What if I book another appointment into a slot that Amy offered to someone else. When the attendee accepts, does Amy write back to say that the time is no longer available, or does she just send invites?
Amy will let the person know that you are no longer available at that time and offer alternatives.
 
What if I want to add another attendee to a meeting invite after the invite has been sent out. Does Amy go back to the original person and the new one to negotiate again?
By default, if you ask Amy to add someone to a meeting after the invite has been sent out, she’ll resend the existing invite to now include them. She would only start over negotiating the time if you asked her to do that in addition to adding the new person.
 
What if I send out a lot of invites again and two people ask for the same time? Amy seemed to do a good job of staggering the meeting times (she asked the first person if they wanted to meet at 9 and the second if she wanted to meet at 10, for example).
Amy does stagger the times by default, but if needed she’ll do first-come first-serve. So for instance you have 3 open slots tomorrow, and you send in 5 different requests for Amy to find a time to meet tomorrow. She would have resort to offering the same time to multiple people at first, and then once tomorrow was booked by the quickest responders agreeing to the times, the people who didn’t yet have a time would get offerings for your next availability.
Apologies for the lengthy email but I wanted to answer your questions and clarify some points. Hope these make sense, and please do feel free to reach out to me or help@human.x.ai with any other questions. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
Best,
James

Augmented Reality for kids
Your Favorite Apps!