More like a guide and a helper. gStepOne generates wizards. A wizard can be defined as an interactive procedure or process mediated by a computer. It is designed to guide users down preset paths, providing the knowledge and the tools needed for them to produce a specific outcome. It does not do the task for the user; it enables the user to complete a task in an expert fashion.
A true Virtual Assistant (VA) or Intelligent Software Assistant is designed to do the task or part of the task for the user. These systems, when they arrive, are expected to act as aides, actually doing simple jobs, like booking flights, making appointments, etc. (see MIT Tech Review for the current state of play). Most VAs are being developed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) software and are designed to mimic the self-awareness and mental abilities typically associated with the human mind.
Providing AI-based virtual support requires a significant effort in identifying and programming for all possible contexts. As a result, most AI-based VAs handle only a small set of tasks. Furthermore, increasing this number is limited by the availability of specialist programmers and the knowledge that they can develop and codify.
Our development approach is quite different. gStepOne is designed for people with no programming skills, who wish to share their expertise to create a wizard for any task. Collectively, the wizards become a resource that helps people produce tangible outcomes. Each can then be called as required by AI-based Virtual Assistants like Siri and Botégo, or by Google, an embedded link or any other method.
While the techniques for producing gStepOne wizards and Virtual Assistants are similar, gStepOne’s objectives are less ambitious: it enables people to do the task, it does not do it for them.