Asana’s Customizable AI Teammates Work Alongside Humans

Work management platform Asana is attempting to rebrand the “AI assistant” as “AI teammates” — custom assistants designed to execute key parts of workflows. Currently in beta, AI teammates are more collaborative and goal-oriented and able to “take action with the relevant context and rules of engagement,” Asana explains, contrasting that with “other AI solutions that aimlessly scour data and take action based on unreliable information.” The firm is also debuting a conversational AI chat agent that can answer questions such as: “What blockers are putting this goal at risk?” or “Who at my company knows about this topic?”

The AI teammates are built on the San Francisco-based startup’s Work Graph data model, which provides what it has determined to be “the ideal structure, visibility, and context for organizations to scale AI,” the company says in an announcement.

The Work Graph’s secret sauce is “the ability to link work and workflows to higher level company objectives,” Asana claims.

“As work comes in, the AI could evaluate the current state and determine if it’s ready to move to the next step, or if it needs to return the work to a human to add more information before it can continue,” TechCrunch reports, using the example of “a help ticket that comes in with a missing or inadequate description.” Under that circumstance, the AI teammate would return it to the person who submitted it, requesting the necessary information.

“That could involve using generative AI to help the human employee write the ticket before sending it on to the AI teammate, which can then direct the ticket to the right person for resolution,” TechCrunch writes.

“Like most AI assistants, the idea is to instill focus and provide insights on prioritizing tasks,” VentureBeat writes of the teammates. And like most AI chatbots, the Asana teammates can sometimes hallucinate. Which is why “a core principle we have about AI at Asana is ‘human in the loop,’” Asana AI chief Paige Costello tells TechCrunch, adding that “ultimately, humans are responsible for decisions and they’re accountable for results.”

That being said, the AI teammates will “adapt to how you work,” according to Asana, noting that their design aims to help humans understand the way AI learns and responds to things, too.

“But if data is the key to building more accurate models, an organization with insight into how companies work, like Asana does, could have a better chance than most of successfully helping move work through a series of steps in a more intelligent way,” TechCrunch adds.

Asana plans to release its AI teammates later this year, with pricing to be announced.

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