Atlassian leans into AI with ‘Rovo,’ a tool to turn data into action—and make chatbots with character

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AI tools have been heralded as a way to improve the output and efficiency of individual workers. But Atlassian, which specializes in developing group-oriented software products, is betting that AI-enhanced collaboration is the future.

This week, Atlassian announced the rollout of new AI-enhanced tech, highlighted by Atlassian Rovo, which will help organizations access and utilize information that may be dispersed among a company’s many internal tools. Rovo is powered by Atlassian Intelligence, which the company launched last year, marking an initial foray into AI.

“We think a lot about teamwork and what makes teams tick,” says Anu Bharadwaj, Atlassian’s president. Accordingly, Bharadwaj says that Rovo and the broader philosophy behind Atlassian’s AI implementations—called “System of Work”—aim to coalesce the shared goals, shared knowledge, and shared processes that teams in a variety of organizations use. The consequences, she says, are increased productivity, efficiency, and an ability to “push their mission forward,” whatever it may be.

With Rovo, and the AI implementations being adopted into products like Jira and Loom, companies will be able to tap all available resources with relative ease. Whereas before, information may have been siloed in a single program within one department, AI features will help team members track down what they need and implement it quickly. 

In other words, Rovo’s main aim is turning information into action. Rovo’s incarnation within a team will also take the form of AI agents, which Bharadwaj says are “automated agents that can shop up in different workflows,” to help take notes, create meeting summaries, and do other tasks. One thing that differs from similar offerings, Bharadwaj says, is that Atlassian is “giving them character,” which means teams could, if they wanted, create an agent with a pirate persona, which would speak and act like Jack Sparrow—or almost any other character.

AI for enhancement, not replacement

While many workers fear an AI apocalypse as new AI tools allow more work to be done without human hands, Bharadwaj says that Atlassian’s thoughts are about how these tools will make teams—and the individuals within them—better at their jobs. “With AI, it’s one of those foundational technology changes,” she says, “but what’s different this time is the speed at which it’s unfolding—what we thought was possible last year is superseded by what we’ve done this year,” she says. 

As such, Atlassian hopes that its new tools will help open up scenarios in which teams are aided by and augmented by AI, including AI agents. “Because we really focus on teams, the question is how can AI benefit them?” she says. “How can you build a better team together with the new composition?” she asks, meaning a combination of AI agents and human workers.

“What won’t change,” she continues, “is that the world will always need human beings to work with each other, to get together, and achieve things they can’t achieve alone.”

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