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AI On The Brain: How We're Using AI At Hoop

Is AI just a passing fad or the next big thing? An inside look at how AI has been a game changer for us at Hoop.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve been thinking and talking a LOT about AI in recent months. Much like everyone else, we’re excited about all the rapid advancements from AI and also puzzled about how to incorporate AI into our lives.

It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Is AI the next technological revolution or just a passing trend?  Are people really going to be taking pictures of a concept and having AI write usable code? Or will AI go the way of the Palm Pilot, Gamestop, and crypto frenzy of previous years?

Personally, AI has helped me be more effective at work and at home (have you ever used ChatGPT to help with meal planning? If not, I suggest you try it out!).

Here are some ways we’re using AI to build Hoop the product, and also Hoop the startup:

AI Messaging Tests

We recently shifted our product messaging, and wanted to share the news with our audience. The problem is, I had three ideas for messaging directions and didn’t have a good idea of which one would resonate most.

So, I wrote up one of the directions, and then used ChatGPT to test the other two. My prompt looked something like:

“Rewrite this blog post, but make the main pain point ‘information getting lost in Slack.’”

This was super helpful in visualizing which message would resonate most. I was also able to change the tone and add more personality with a prompt like:

“Rewrite this blog post, but make the tone more conversational.”

In some cases, ChatGPT took the tone way too far, adding random emoji and hashtags that felt inauthentic. But the point here was to iterate into messaging that I, the human, felt was the most resonant. Obviously, I could do this myself but it would have taken many hours vs the seconds it took AI. Being able to compare messaging side by side really helped me make the best decision for our launch.

AI Summaries of Hoops

Within Hoop, people create hoops to have discussions and make decisions, and there is back and forth between many contributors before getting wrapped up. Before AI, the creator had to read all the content and write a summary. Now, when the hoop is ready to be wrapped up, users can generate an instant AI summary for everyone involved with the hoop and also any team member who wants to stay in the loop without getting lost in the weeds. On top of that, Hoop’s AI summaries identify key decisions and next steps to drive action.

An AI auto-summary for a recent hoop about building an "About Us" page.

But we think AI can play a bigger role in helping people work more effectively and reduce the burdens of knowledge workers, like finding information, ingesting a ton of content, and having enough context to move work forward.

AI Offsite Planner

As a fully remote team that spends 80% of our working hours asynchronously focusing on deep work, it is essential to come together as a team every few months to have some fun, get strategic, and build great memories. Quarterly offsites are how we accomplish that, but planning them can take a lot of time and it’s too easy to fall back on the same old locations and activities.

So we figured why not let AI help us plan an offsite?

It turns out ChatGPT is a pretty good companion for all the decisions required in planning:

  • AI can help you understand how much time to spend on any one piece of criteria
  • AI can generate ideas that fulfill many requirements much faster than a human could - some examples here include locations, and activities
  • AI helps surface novelty suggestions that a biased human may not think of. For example, I’m pretty sure my team will roll their eyes if I plan another food centric offsite.

Here’s the prompt we used to help us find a location for an offsite:

"We need to stay in the United States for ease of travel and keeping the cost under control. Can you give me a list of 5 locations near airports that would make for a good team offsite location in late May?"

We then used GPT4 to create ranking based on our criteria, and then to create a combined ranking that put everything together into a prioritized list.

For the offsite, we looked at criteria including:

  • Average temperature,
  • Expected cost to host the offsite at each location,
  • Expected travel distance based on each person’s home location,
  • Ratings based on how ‘walkable’ each venue was,
  • Which venues were close to bodies of water

The outcome? Minneapolis. As well as an amazing time together as a team that we will never forget!

Thank you AI for helping us plan an awesome offsite.

AI Happening Everywhere

Recently, I created a hoop asking the team how they are using AI in their day-to-day work as a way to learn what else I could be doing.

Here are just a few of the responses I received from the team:

“I constantly have Github copilot turned on in my code development environment and am committing code daily that was at least partially suggested by AI.” - Travis

“I use ChatGPT fairly frequently (a few times a week) to get started on something or explore an idea, and I’ve found AI meeting summaries to be really pretty good recently. I find them to be a nice recap of what was covered, and I’ve glanced back at them at times to refresh my memory on something.” - Justin

“I turn to Chat GPT to offer a code solution for something, or to comb through a product’s documentation (E.g. “How do I do X with Y platform?”).” - Brad

“I like the generate 50 ideas about X style of brainstorming with ChatGPT, especially when I feel stuck. Variations on a title too, or even as a starting point. I like using it to ‘go wide’ with thinking if I’m doing something creative.” - Brian

Are you also exploring the possibilities with AI? Or feeling overwhelmed? Let us know on LinkedIn.

Let's fix the way we work.

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