How to Use AI to Automate Tasks

How to Use AI to Automate Tasks

Boring, repetitive tasks, such as summarizing call details after every customer interaction or repeatedly answering the same questions, can drag your team down and hurt productivity. 

But with artificial intelligence (AI), we can finally say goodbye to these mundane chores. 

Interestingly, a survey by Gartner found that up to 80% of executives believe automation can be applied to any business decision. This shows the incredible potential for organizations that integrate AI into their processes.

In this blog, we’ll closely examine what AI task automation is and how it can be used to modify how your organization works. ⬇️

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What is AI Task Automation? 

AI automation refers to using artificial intelligence technologies to streamline and perform (repetitive) tasks typically and traditionally done by humans.

This approach addresses skills and labor shortages while increasing operational efficiency; freeing employees from repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-value, strategic work.

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The Role and Benefits of AI in Task Automation

AI automation combines Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Optimization (RPA), computer vision, and other machine learning algorithms that effectively automate business processes. 

Trained on large unstructured data sets, these technologies can execute complex tasks without human intervention by following predefined rules and adapting based on real-time data inputs.

Machine learning models, which are trained on data, identify patterns and generate predictions

NLP algorithms enable systems to understand and generate human language, crucial for applications like chatbots. RPA bots mimic human actions to perform repetitive tasks, while computer vision processes visual information to make decisions based on images and videos.

Many organizations use these AI automation for business purposes, across functions ranging from marketing to customer service

For instance, Amazon uses AI in fulfillment centers to detect damaged goods, tripling the accuracy compared to humans. Trained on millions of images, this AI flags imperfect items for further assessment, leading to resale, donation, or reuse instead of direct customer shipping.

Benefits of AI automation

Artificial intelligence plays a multi-dimensional role when it comes to automation. Let’s see how it can benefit your business. 👀

  • Enhance productivity: AI can handle repetitive tasks, allowing your teams to focus on more important work that needs human attention. This reduces their workload and boosts their productivity and the quality of their work
  • Solidify decision-making: By supplying data to AI, you can receive assistance in forecasting, identifying future product trends, and accessing industry insights. These insights and patterns that human eyes might miss help improve your decision-making process
  • Save costs: AI automation helps save costs by reducing labor costs, increasing efficiency, and minimizing errors. It optimizes resource utilization, enhances predictive maintenance, and streamlines supply chains, thereby reducing logistical waste and downtime
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What are the Different Tasks AI Can Automate?

Artificial intelligence can automate many aspects of business operations, ranging a few simple tasks (think status updates) to complex, multilayered inventory processes.

Below are five use cases that will help you understand how it works.

1. Operations management

On the operations front, AI can help automate back-office tasks like processing invoices, handling documentation and document processing, managing accounts, overseeing the supply chain, and keeping track of inventory. This helps streamline operations and reduce supply chain costs incurred through inventory mismanagement.

Walmart uses AI to streamline its supply chain in various ways. AI helps manage inventory by monitoring stock levels and predicting demand, so they avoid stockouts and overstocks, keeping customers happy and reducing costs. 

It also optimizes the movement of goods, cutting costs, boosting productivity, and speeding up deliveries to stores. For pricing, AI sets prices based on demand, competition, and costs, helping Walmart stay competitive and maximize profits.

2. Customer service

via Amazon AWS

Almost 90% of customers consider an immediate response an essential part of customer service. 

That’s why the customer service industry extensively uses AI CRM tools and AI-powered chatbots to answer repetitive customer queries, such as ‘When does the store open?’ or ‘Is this product returnable?’ 

AI task automation removes the burden of providing such responses from human workers, involving them only in complex issues. It also saves you from the hassle of hiring night-shift workers or investing money in more employees in general.

Amazon’s AI advancements, including Q in Connect and Amazon Connect Contact Lens, demonstrate how AI is used for customer service automation. 

“With just a few clicks, contact center leaders can leverage new capabilities powered by generative AI in Amazon Connect to enhance the more than 15 million customer interactions handled on Amazon Connect every day.”

Pasquale DeMaioVP, Amazon Connect, AWS Applications

3. Data analysis and predictive analytics

Much decision-making relies on vast datasets, surveys, and reports, which can be overwhelming for your human colleagues to manage due to their sheer volume. This is where AI becomes invaluable with its machine learning, NLP, and computer vision capabilities.

AI task automation can accurately analyze large datasets and provide necessary insights, allowing business teams to focus more effectively on work relevant to their field. Of course, you can’t completely omit the human element from the decision-making process, especially on aspects like sentiment analysis. This is what the combination looks like in practice:

Data analysis and predictive analytics
via Harvard Business Review

A good example is e-commerce retail businesses that use large amounts of customer data to create user profiles. These profiles automatically suggest products to consumers based on their activity and purchase history.

AI tools like Klaviyo and Attentive rely on AI-based automation for advanced audience segmentation features in email marketing. These features analyze customer behavior to create email segments for personalized outreach.

With this, you can automate separating customers based on certain demographics, so there’s no need to manually go through every customer profile and sort them into a certain marketing bracket.

4. Marketing

AI can automate marketing tasks like email and text campaigns, managing social media posts, generating personalized product recommendations, or creating social media copies. This helps you reach more customers on the right platforms at the right time, ultimately boosting sales.

Moreover, a recent McKinsey study projected that AI could add up to $4.4 trillion in value to the global economy by 2030, with marketing being a primary beneficiary.

In the image above, you have Heinz using a version of Dall-E to produce award-winning visual campaigns using text-to-image AI and automating the graphical design process, or Coca-Cola using AI content creation tools to create Christmas cards for a festive campaign.

5. Sales

You can use AI to automate sales tasks such as qualifying leads, scheduling appointments with prospects, and auto-generating follow-up emails at fixed intervals. These help your sales team close more deals and increase revenue.

AI and machine learning transform the prospect assessment system by continuously refining scoring models to identify high-potential leads. This allows sales teams to engage with top prospects at the right moment, boosting conversion rates and revenue. 

AI goes beyond traditional datasets and incorporates diverse data sources, such as social media, website interactions, and email engagement, to provide a comprehensive lead picture. 

For instance, Razorpay’s ML-powered lead scoring exemplifies this effectiveness, achieving a 50% increase in monthly Gross Merchandize Value (GMV), a 70% reduction in team effort, and a one-month shorter conversion cycle.

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How to Automate Tasks with AI

We’ve covered a lot about what AI task automation can do for you, but now, let’s talk about how you can actually put it to work for your business.

To get started with AI automation, follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify tasks that can be automated

The first step is to identify tasks in your business that can be automated. 

Focus on time-consuming, error-prone, or repetitive tasks. Be mindful of what you are automating. Don’t automate a lot at once, as it can be difficult to manage.

Also, if you are just starting with automation, save the critical areas for later when your business and teams are used to AI automation. 

Step 2: Choose the right tools

This step is pretty much a make-or-break for your AI automation journey. With so many AI automation tools, picking the right one is key, based on what you need and what fits your budget.

For example, ClickUp and Asana are solid options for automating tasks and managing projects. But if you’re focusing on AI email marketing and management, you might consider Mailbutler or EmailTree.

Step 3: Set up the tool

After selecting an appropriate process automation tool, the next step is setting it up. This typically involves supplying the tool with training data and configuring it to automate the desired tasks. 

You can also talk with your AI service providers and develop bespoke solutions to your problems. 

Step 4: Constant testing and monitoring

Once you have set up the AI tool, it’s essential to test and monitor how the automated tasks are performing. This ensures the tool functions correctly and effectively automates the desired tasks.

Conduct audits consistently to ensure data security, privacy, and transparency.

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Why ClickUp is The Best AI Automation Tool

Selecting the right tool for your automation journey is essential. But here’s the thing: you can now skip the headache of choosing a different AI tool for each task.

Yes, there’s software that condenses all those functionalities into a neat little package: ClickUp.

Let’s take a glance at some of its most exciting AI and automation features.

ClickUp Brain

ClickUp Brain is a super-simple yet super-effective way to automate a wide variety of tasks for your organization

ClickUp comes with the groundbreaking in-built AI assistant ClickUp Brain. It is the world’s first neural network that integrates tasks, documents, and people across your company’s knowledge base with AI.

The three main features include:

  • AI Knowledge Manager: Ask questions and automatically extract answers from anywhere from your ClickUp workspace
  • AI Project Manager: Manage and automate multiple tasks like summarizing chat threads and updates for task completion, assignment, and more
  • AI Writer: Create content and draft replies for clients automatically using the AI Writer

Plus, ClickUp Brain integrates with other tools, facilitating seamless data transfer. 

You can use ClickUp Integrations to easily integrate popular apps such as HubSpot, GitHub, and Twilio or create custom webhooks for any other application, allowing seamless automation across your digital stack from a centralized platform.

ClickUp AI Builder

ClickUp AI Builder
ClickUp’s AI Builder takes in natural language input and instantly automates tasks or projects according to your specifications

One unique feature that differentiates ClickUp’s automation capabilities from other applications is its intuitive AI Builder

Using ClickUp Brain, the AI Builder makes workflow automation effortless for any team. Just describe the automation you need in plain English, and our integrated AI will swiftly configure task automation across any Space, Folder, or List.

ClickUp Recurring Tasks

ClickUp Recurring Tasks
Set up Recurring Tasks with ClickUp to automatically reschedule repetitive tasks

And if you don’t want to waste too much time manually automating simple tasks that come up daily, weekly, monthly, or at any fixed interval, use ClickUp’s Recurring Tasks. You can choose between Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, Days After, or Custom repetitions.

The Recurring Tasks feature also lets you create custom specifications of when the task should recur, like after it’s completed or after a certain time period. You have a lot of freedom with this feature, as you can virtually repeat tasks in any way that you can imagine.

ClickUp Automation Library

ClickUp Automation Library
ClickUp’s Automation library gives you 100+ choices of prebuilt When-Then automation

ClickUp comes with a host of automation features under ClickUp Automation. These include templates, shortcuts, email automation, audit logs, and integrations that will help you zap through your daily tasks.

Speaking of templates, ClickUp offers over 100 prebuilt templates in its Automation library. These help you swiftly automate repetitive tasks like assigning tasks, posting comments, changing statuses, moving Lists, and much more.

ClickUp doesn’t just handle internal automation—it’s also a champ at customer service. Improve your communication efficiency with ClickUp’s email automation.

Address customer feedback submitted via ClickUp Forms automatically, ensure partners and vendors stay informed with automatic project updates, and more.

ClickUp Audit Logs

ClickUp Audit Logs
Monitor all automation actions, including successes and failures, with Audit Logs

If you are worried that you might get lost in this sea of automation, ClickUp has a solution for that as well. 

With ClickUp’s Audit Logs, you can easily track automation status, actions, and locations. You can also verify details and make necessary adjustments from a unified dashboard, ensuring seamless management of your automated processes.

ClickUp’s powerful project management combined with automation has brought great results for our clients.  For instance, at STANLEY Security, a global security solutions company, ClickUp helped bring all the distributed teams together on one single platform. They were able to save 8+ hours every week and reduce time to generate reports by 50%. 

“We’re able to customize and automate ClickUp to suit each specific initiative, and it has allowed us to streamline and simplify our workflows, which has increased our team’s capacity exponentially.”

Connor NashGlobal Experience Analytics Manager, STANLEY Security
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Operational, Ethical, and Privacy Challenges of Implementing AI

While AI automation undoubtedly signals the advent of the future, business implementation is still rough around the edges. Let’s examine some of these challenges and explore possible solutions.

Operational challenges

First on our list are operational challenges that hinder the capabilities of AI in the workplace. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Cost of implementation: This depends on what you are using AI for. The price will be relatively low for simple content creation or assistance. However, if you need to analyze large data sets, you need the computing power to back it up. As a business, you might incur huge costs for database integration and lengthy data training. The best solution is a SaaS service with built-in AI functionality and other workflow automation tools.
  • Data quality: The results from AI are only as good as the data you feed it. But here’s the snag: in many businesses, data is all over the place—it’s siloed, disorganized, or just plain low quality. And that’s a big roadblock to reaping the benefits of AI. This so-called ‘dirty data’ could be outdated, inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent. Before you can do anything useful with it, you’ve got to clean it up. That means scrubbing out errors, filling in missing bits, and making sure everything’s consistent and up-to-date
  • Lack of technical skills: Adopting AI requires serious know-how and skills many organizations lack. Putting AI into action can be challenging without that expertise, holding back its full potential. But here’s the fix: it’s simple, though it might require some resources—invest in training your employees to handle these changes
  • Integration with legacy systems: Legacy systems are often incompatible with AI. Modifying such systems to accommodate AI is often complex and time-consuming. Hindered integration with existing systems can lead to inefficiencies and increased costs. Modernizing these systems with an efficient operational framework and cutting-edge technologies to facilitate AI adoption

Ethical challenges

A PwC survey found that 85% of CEOs believe AI will significantly change their business in the next five years, with ethical concerns being a key issue.

AI faces many ethical issues, such as:

  • Data privacy and security: AI systems depend heavily on data, and the collection, storage, and analysis of large amounts of personal and sensitive information raises concerns about privacy and security. Safeguarding this data per local laws and ensuring its responsible use is crucial for maintaining trust in AI technologies
  • Lack of transparency in AI decision-making: AI algorithms are complex, and how they arrive at certain decisions might not be clear to individuals without technical know-how. This lack of transparency can raise concerns about biases and prejudices, particularly in critical areas such as healthcare and criminal justice
  • Job disruption: AI-powered automation has the potential to reshape the job market. With a lot of the knowledge-work tasks being automated, workers will eventually need to upskill or even change careers entirely

“I see it (AI) as a productivity enhancer. It will destroy employment in some areas; I mean, there will be parts of the labor markets where tasks can be replaced to a degree.

But then you will also find other ways of innovating and creating more jobs somewhere else. I mean, this is the story of economic growth and innovation for hundreds of years that you have an innovation that is basically labor saving and that reduces employment in some areas, but then boosts it in others.”

Jan Hatzius Chief Economist, Goldman Sachs

The solution? A change in perspective

Companies must promote transparency in AI decision-making, establish ethical guidelines for AI use, and conduct frequent audits to identify biases. Take steps to upskill your workforce so there is little traction in adopting AI automation.

In an interesting conversation, Pascal Bornet, Author of IRREPLACEABLE & Intelligent Automation discusses a middle-path where AI and human skills play equal parts in getting jobs done. He stresses the importance of developing and strengthening uniquely human abilities, termed “Humics,” which are difficult for AI to replicate. 

These include:

  • Genuine creativity: Creating original ideas and artistic expressions based on human experiences, emotions, and intuition
  • Critical thinking: Analyzing information, questioning assumptions, and making ethical judgments based on human values and context
  • Social authenticity: Building deep, trust-based relationships, communicating with empathy, and leading others with emotional intelligence

By focusing on these Humics and synergizing with AI, individuals can enhance their value by automating routine tasks and emphasizing human creativity and interpersonal skills

Bornet also advises that employees be “change-ready,” if they really want to keep up in the unpredictable and quick-changing world.

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Make AI Work For You With ClickUp

AI is the future, and there is no doubt about it. And bringing it into your business automation? That’s bound to slash costs and free up your employees’ time.

However, the major deciding factor is your choice of AI task automation software. You can go down the specialized route and seek assistance from different AI applications for different tasks. 

But when it comes to centralized automation, there’s no platform as comprehensive as ClickUp. It is easy to use, powerful, flexible, and cost-effective. You don’t need coding prowess to incorporate custom or pre-built automation into your workflow.

So, what’s keeping you here? Try ClickUp for free today!

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