Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are investing heavily in digital assistants as users ask even more of their phones and apps. Over the next few years, these businesses expect Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Now and M to create their own subculture within mobile platforms as they become more personable, friendly and – if you believe Elon Musk – terrifying. Musk’s new non-profit OpenAI aims to ensure that Artificial Intelligence, such as is being advanced in digital assistants, is used for the betterment of mankind and will not spell it’s downfall. It boasts tech A-listers such as Peter Tiel and, somewhat ominously, the original creators of Siri.

The importance of AI in these assistants cannot be understated. Your favourite overly polite friend is going to get to know you, your actions and why you do the things you do. Siri will pay attention to the requests you have of her, the sites you browse and the people you call. Cortana will know what you want before you know it yourself – life is about to get easier and as voice activation improves they will understand slang and sarcasm, you’ll share intimate secrets, even if you don’t want to and will always have someone by your side, calling for help if you’re being mugged or disabling you car and calling a taxi if you’re too drunk to drive.

Meeting schedulers such a Amy from x.ai are taking tasks such as emailing back and forth to schedule a meeting and dealing with them for you – sending the emails and replying based on your calendar. Meetings will appear and if your client should email asking for a new appointment? Amy will take care of that also.

All of these technologies are likely to merge and as progress continues and users accept and embrace the benefits of digital assistants, email exchanges and meetings scheduled by Siri and Cortana are likely to become commonplace. Ironically enough, this could limit us to having to talk to each other in person. Excuses to email and text will become less and less and related to the realms of machines. Technology in the end, could be the saviour of the spoken word and friendly coffee.