While the AI is integrated into the app can write articles from whole fabric (I asked it to write a blog post about the Notion AI announcement, and it spat out 385 words, only a few of which were correct), the company pitches it more as a “thought partner.” In its announcement post, the company says that one of the features alpha testers used the most was asking them to correct the text they had written. For example, you can highlight text and ask Notion to rewrite it in a different tone, use simpler language, or just write out or shorten a sentence.
Notion AI is also intended to help with other types of tasks: it can, according to the company, summarize an article or notes, generate a to-do list based on selected text, and make translations.
Like ChatGPT (and unlike Microsoft’s Bing), Notion’s AI doesn’t really seem to have much understanding of recent events. I asked it to write about the latest from Artifact (a personalized news app), and it wrote a fairly accurate summary of Valve’s 2021 announcement that the company was no longer working on a virtual trading card game. Notion does warn that the AI can output incorrect information, and its guide to using the AI functions also says it may be biased or “execute malicious content when asked”.
According to Notion spokesperson Becky Sosnov, the company is “working with multiple partners, including OpenAI, Anthropic, among others” to power the feature, and is “constantly testing more” as time goes on.
You can currently try Notion AI for free, with each workspace user getting 20 free AI answers; this promotion ends on April 5, 2023 according to Notion. After that (or after you’ve used up your 20 responses), it costs $8 per month per workspace member billed annually or $10 per month per member billed monthly, which gives you unlimited access the function.
It’s not just Microsoft either. The company that produces Raycast, a productivity tool intended to replace Apple’s Spotlight, announced on Wednesday that it integrates OpenAI’s technology to do many of the same things Notion’s AI does – although using it requires you to sign up for a waiting list. And another note app, mempromises to use AI to organize your notes, while the craft note-taking tool has an “AI assistant” powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology. With other big tech companies like Google working on their own AI chatbots, it seems likely that features like this will spread to even more apps and services.