It's not a secret that AI has unleashed a new wave of startups. The advances in foundation models have not only opened our collective imaginations, but also provided fertile grounds to build new tools that we didn't think feasible only a few years ago.

We – Matt and Oscar – started Applied Language Understanding with the mission of applying foundation models to what we know best, which is team collaboration. Prior to co-founding ALU.AI, Matt was a Principal Engineer at Atlassian and a Trello/Atlassian veteran of 8+ years after a stint at Microsoft. Oscar also worked at Atlassian for a bit over three years after his product, an automation tool called Butler for Trello, was acquired in 2018. Prior to Atlassian, he was at Google, Lotus Development Corporation (a workflow and collaboration-pioneering company in the 90s), and Microsoft.

Collaboration tools are crucial to team performance, but we have seen first-hand the effort that sharing knowledge, and keeping it updated, require. We strongly believe in AI's potential to help humans work better together. Earlier this year, we built a prototype for an AI assistant that would answer questions using the content (and only the content) in a Confluence site, citing references to the source documents for every answer. We got some encouraging feedback from folks we greatly respect, and in June we released the initial version of Connie AI in the Atlassian marketplace.

In this blog, we share our progress towards building a high-quality product that goes beyond the hype and solves real needs with safety, reliability, and a great user experience. We'd love for you to come along in our journey.

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