Asana’s new “AI teammates” take on the “busy work” of project management

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Asana, the maker of project management software, is rolling out an initial version of its “AI teammates” — an artificial intelligence-based feature designed to assist users by handling some of their tasks.

Business software companies are rushing to harness the current boom in generative AI technology and its promise of increasing workplace productivity.

Users can enable Asana’s AI feature, delegate tasks or pieces of a workflow to the assistant, and set up triggers and rules for when and how it gets activated.

  • For example, the “teammate” can triage incoming requests from other co-workers, determine if all necessary information has been included, and ask for more details or move the request to the next step in the process.
  • It can also gather relevant data from inside the company, generate feedback on a piece of content, or even suggest ways to improve productivity.
  • The user can take over at any time or be looped in if a specific step requires human decision-making or input.

Asana is using large language models built by OpenAI and Anthropic.

The company says that it’s not using customer data to train a universal AI model; instead, it’s only using it to tailor each customer’s “teammate” to their unique ways of using Asana’s software.

“We expect that AI will help people achieve more and more complex work over time, but the human is ultimately accountable for the work,” Paige Costello, Asana’s head of AI, told Axios.

Asana has been testing the feature with some of its enterprise customers, such as Palo Alto Networks. “Right now people are broadening their adoption [of AI teammates] across more of their workflows, but not yet changing the length of the leash,” said Costello.

The company is also introducing a friendly chatbot interface through which users can ask questions about using Asana, about their own employer, and for analysis of their work. They can also ask it to take actions like create a new task or project.

Few things are more maddening in the workplace than software tools needing more attention and interactions, taking away from the real work. But Costello assures us that Asana’s AI teammates aim to do the opposite and are in need of little hand-holding. As with all promises, we hope to see them meet this promise.

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