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I have my own virtual personal assistant named Amy Ingram and acquiring her didn’t cost me anything.

Eight or nine months ago, I signed up for free beta access to a virtual assistant at x.ai. The virtual assistant schedules meeting for me and so far, it’s been really helpful and saved some significant time. I just checked today and the free status is still in effect. This means you can still put in your email address to get access to the free beta version, too. I don’t know what this company has in mind for pricing in the future, though. X.ai is a NYC-based startup that has received significant funding from many blue chip investors.

I use Amy to schedule meetings and appointments with people.

Interestingly, Amy can also be named Andrew if you choose. The VA can work with Google and Office 365 calendars, as well as Outlook.com. Amy is only used within the email environment. Their goal was to create a virtual assistant that’s really good at one thing: setting up meetings via email.

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Here’s the basics of how to use the x.ai virtual assistant, Amy, to schedule meetings via email:

1: Send an email to the person you want to have a meeting with, let’s call this person George.
2: Add Amy in the CC portion of this email to George.
3: Amy will then send an email to George with the details of the available times and locations.
4: George will respond to Amy’s email saying which day and times work/don’t work for him.
5: Amy and George will send emails back and forth until they arrive at a mutually good time to meet.
6: After the date and time has been agreed upon, Amy sends out invites with this information to you and your guest.

If you’re wanting some more details on the specifics of how Amy works, go here.

Check out how Amy works in this video created by a journalist who has been using Amy for a week:

So far, I’ve been really impressed with how Amy helps me to interact with people and set up meeting times. If you want to try out having your own virtual assistant for no initial charge, it looks like there’s still time. Amy is still in the learning phase, so ultra complicated social interactions with many people might still be confusing to her. But, as is the case for all AI assistants, in time, she’ll be able to learn how to deal with more and more complex social interchanges.