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Innovation

Notion launches AI to solve email communications overload

Workers spend a quarter of their day dealing with email, making it the second most time consuming activity in their jobs. A new app aims to streamline our inboxes.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor on

In 2015, people sent and received more than 205 billion emails each day. It is hard to wade through the deluge of emails to focus on what is important to you. Artificial intelligence startup Notion thinks it can solve your communications overload.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company has launched what it terms a "new kind of AI technology." It focuses on how we communicate with every contact in our inbox.

Notion's neural network was built to "positively impact the way we manage our relationships through emails." It analyzes the history of your relationship with each person and gives insights for that relationship to help you manage your email.

The cloud based AI analyzes the relationships behind communications and predicts what is important to you. It claims to have over 95 percent accuracy. The AI learns which emails you are most likely to remove from your inbox and groups emails together.

As you scroll through your inbox, less important emails are highlighted for easy inbox clean up. Notion assigns a percentage measurement of "responsiveness between people."

This indicates intent, and understanding that the person who sends a message actually wants a response.

The app knows what you are being asked to respond to. It uses natural language processing to identify questions and requests in a message. It then shows these to you instead of standard email previews.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Guy Suter and technical co-founders Lindsay Snider and Ian Berry, Notion is focused on tackling today's communication overload. It intends to focus on expanding its cloud intelligence technology to deliver extra features for its app.

By understanding which messages are most important to you, the app can provide better focus to help people keep up to date. It will highlight items waiting for replies.

Subscribers get access to insights about their relationships with the people sending email. It exposes your social network buried inside your email history. Expanded access to Notion's cloud intelligence is planned for desktop on Mac and Windows, and the web.

Subscribers will soon be able to link Notion to Amazon's personal assistant device, Alexa. This will enable users to talk to their email.

Alexa will read the important emails, emails waiting for replies, relationship details, archive, snooze, or send messages through voice communication.

The mobile email app is available for iPhone and Android. It works with existing email services and aims to save time and reduce communications stress.

Launched from stealth with $9.5 million in Series A funding from Drive Capital and Accel, with participation from Hyde Park Venture Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank, this AI technology aims to solve communication overload.

Guy Suter, co-founder and CEO of Notion said: "Today's communication tools offer little in the way of improving the way we communicate or the underlying relationships behind our conversations.

Artificial intelligence will improve how people communicate by focusing our time and encouraging behaviors that build stronger relationships."

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