Why AI work assistants are better than AI writing assistants

Writing assistants can make content. Work assistants make progress.

Katy Turner

Product Marketing Manager for AI at Coda

Why AI work assistants are better than AI writing assistants

By Katy Turner

Share this article

Share on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Facebook
Blog > AI · 5 min read

Most productivity tools will soon have an AI-enabled option.

A mere few months ago, that statement would have seemed impossible, but AI is now readily available due to the recent advancements in computing power and machine learning algorithms. It has become easier and more cost-effective to store and process massive amounts of data, which can then be used to train machine learning algorithms, leading to significant improvements in AI capabilities. Additionally, the availability of open-source software frameworks and cloud services have made it easier and more affordable for businesses to harness the power of AI without their own infrastructure. Through all these advancements, AI has evolved from a niche research area to a technology that is now widely accessible and increasingly transforming various industries. Many companies are developing AI-powered writing assistants—often using natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze text and provide suggestions for improved grammar, style, and structure. While these early ventures are exciting, they’re not generating a large shift in productivity. To not only finish tasks but accomplish strategic goals, teams don’t need a writing assistant, but a work assistant. The ChatGPT language model that uses machine learning to produce human-like text has grown exponentially in popularity. It writes remarkably well, and can generate everything from passable poetry to an A+ essay on a niche scientific topic. While this capability has numerous applications, there’s also many examples of both glaring and subtle errors ChatGPT can make—ranging from boldly incorrect facts to nuanced phrasing. Ultimately, a ChatGPT writing assistant will always require a round of proofreading and editing, no matter how many times you update the prompt you provided, or give ChatGPT more instructions. Additionally, the more detail you can provide to ChatGPT, the better—and tracking it down can require tediously digging through several tools. Assuming you are satisfied with ChatGPT’s generated content, you then have to assess how to best incorporate it into your workflow—whether that means sharing with others, updating data, or creating a new resource. As you generate more content, this can become increasingly difficult, and potentially outweigh the benefit of using an AI writing assistant—which is why you need an AI work assistant to truly transform your productivity. Coda AI as a work assistant has one goal: to make individuals, teams, and workflows efficient through visibility and collaboration. It has all the benefits of a writing assistant, such as helping to generate creative ideas, drafting content, and summarizing notes. However, it already fits seamlessly into your workflow, so instead of figuring out how to share or use the generated text, you can simply move to the next step and accomplish a series of tasks quickly. Ultimately, Coda AI can help your team finish the day’s critical tasks, so they can focus on their strategic goals, together. Here are a couple examples. Meet Nicole, an account executive. Nicole is a peak performer who consistently exceeds quota, and manages her time carefully, trying to keep every deal cycle as short as possible. After speaking with 5-10 customers daily, she used to block the last couple hours of the day for writing call summaries/action items to share with her account team, and for sending follow up emails. Nicole now uses Coda AI to generate call summaries, pull out action items, draft follow up emails, and create an agenda for the next meeting—which also allows her to proofread this content while the information is still fresh. With the press of a button, she posts the relevant summary to a team Slack channel, logs it to Salesforce, and generates an email to everyone she spoke with that day.
During her weekly meeting with her manager, she pulls up Coda AI’s summary of key themes across all calls, and they decide what to share with leadership and with the product team. All the context either party needs is already summarized in the doc, and they can easily find more detail if they’d like to dig deeper. By using Coda AI, Nicole no longer needs to block the last couple hours of her day, and can use it to speak with more customers, mentor more teammates, or develop account plays for the broader team. She likes that other teams also have more visibility into customer feedback, ultimately helping inform any goals they set for the product or for the company. Meet Teresa, a product manager. Teresa’s admired for her ability to stay on top of every update while keeping her team and leadership informed along the way. She recently became PM for a feature that’s been fast tracked because of customer demand that was surfaced by the sales team, and needs to ship quickly.

To get up to speed, she used Coda AI to summarize and tag the extensive user feedback. She then used that feedback as a prompt for Coda AI to help create the first draft of a brief—which was ready in time for the next day's team meeting.
After everyone asked questions and shared comments, Teresa used Coda AI to extract general sentiment and action items, ultimately helping her finalize key product decisions. Now that the team is targeting a launch date, she uses Coda AI to look across all their Jira dependences and tell her if anything is at risk. Since everything lives in one doc, other teams are able to stay in the loop, and Teresa feels confident she has the context and the clarity needed to achieve the ambitious launch date. As teams are encouraged to set ambitious goals, and accomplish more, an AI work assistant can help employees decide what that means—whether that’s closing more deals, driving more strategic decisions, or mentoring more teammates. And that’s just the beginning—Coda AI is not only a work assistant, but a Coda building block, just like tables that talk to each other, integrations with tools like Zoom and Slack, and automations that can send reminders to your team. By combining Coda AI with these other building blocks, each team member can not only finish critical tasks, but increase visibility, and drive collaboration within and between teams. Explore Coda AI as a work assistant to transform your productivity.

Related posts

Explore more stories about AI
Why you should think about AI as an intern

With the right guidance, AI can serve as a game-changing resource for your team.

Is generative AI the next Segway?

Examining how social norms influence the adoption of a technology.

Simplifying machine learning terms

Demystifying AI jargon.