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A guide to AI at Zapier

Which AI tools you should use—and when

By Elena Alston · May 7, 2024
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At Zapier, we believe that AI can give everyone automation superpowers. 

From using AI to turn your ideas into automated processes to building chatbots that can support your customers 24/7, we want to make automation more accessible for everyone—regardless of your tech skills. 

And Zapier's AI products, from Chatbots to Central and beyond, aim to help you put automation to good use. In fact, Zapier customers have already delegated over 50 million tasks to AI. Now it's your turn. 

But if you're wondering which AI tool is right for you or you're not sure which of your business problems can be solved by AI, fear not. We've broken down your options below. 

Jump ahead

  • I need to pull AI into my workflows

  • I need AI to help me automate workflows

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Pull AI into your workflows 

With Zapier, you can choose how AI operates for you, interacts with your data, and helps you drive your business forward. 

You might want to respond to customers at scale, for example. (Hello: Chatbots.) Or perhaps you want to create assistants with access to your data that can take internal tasks off your plate. Or maybe you want smarter Zaps that solve unique business problems (over and over) with AI and  automation. 

Whatever your need, these are the AI products that can have a real business impact: 

Build chatbots that interact with customers

Zapier Chatbots lets you create AI-powered chatbots in a matter of minutes that better serve your customers and leads. 

Chatbots can draw from your own knowledge sources to answer questions, resolve issues, and capture lead information with the power of automation—freeing up your sales and support teams to do the work that matters most. (Though there are plenty of other use cases, too.)

As they can be trained on your brand's style guides, company documentation, and any other source you upload, Chatbots are the ideal option if you want to create a tailored AI experience for an external-facing audience

Think of it this way: If you need a stand-in for support and sales chats, Zapier Chatbots is your best bet as they can work 24/7 behind the scenes.

Learn more: Check out our guide on building a custom AI-powered chatbot to power your business.

Build assistants to help you perform tasks with Zapier Central

Zapier Central is designed to help you tackle internal tasks (like specific business operations) at scale

It's an AI workspace where you can create and train internal agents for specific tasks (by showing them the exact behaviors and data to follow) across Zapier's ecosystem of 6,000+ apps. 

You can think of these agents as mini teammates that help you do anything from analyzing your company data to reminding teams about deadlines to drafting responses to customers. 

Note: While Chatbots support external audiences and are ideal for after-hours customer support or lead capture on your website, Central is more suited for teams looking to streamline their internal processes. That includes analyzing data, accessing the web for external info, and learning about leads. 

Learn more: Check out our guide on Zapier Central for a more in-depth look at how it works. 

Build Zaps that integrate with AI apps 

You can make any Zap smarter by connecting AI tools (like Fathom) and large language models (like OpenAI's GPT-4) to the apps you use every day. 

Zapier has the largest AI ecosystem on the market (180+ AI apps), allowing you to build customized workflows that power your day-to-day work and move your business forward. 

Imagine adding a ChatGPT step to your Zaps, for example. Whenever a content brief gets added to your project management tool, the AI step can create an outline for you, and the Zap will automatically add that to a Google Doc. Or you could add an AI step to a Zap that extracts key data from your CRM and sends an analysis to Slack, allowing your sales team to reach out to the most qualified leads first. 

Essentially, when your AI tools and the rest of your tech stack work together, you can build better processes that free up your team to focus on more complex problems that require a human touch. 

Note: While both Zaps that use AI apps and Central are great ways to automate tasks, Central allows you to chat directly with AI for recommendations, search the web, and perform instant actions. 

Learn more: Discover ways to automate ChatGPT and OpenAI and get more out of your workflows. Alternatively, check out some of our most popular templates

Use AI to help you automate workflows

So now you know which tools can help you pull AI into your work processes. But what about the AI tools within Zapier that can help you bring your automation ideas to life? Here are two AI-powered tools that can help you build workflows faster and easier—even if you have zero automation experience. 

Diagram processes from start to finish with Canvas

Zapier Canvas is a diagramming tool that uses AI to help you visualize, plan, and automate business-critical processes from start to finish. 

If you and your team have a process in mind, you can map it out with a flowchart and ask Canvas for suggestions on optimizing each step—even those that require human interaction. Think of it as a bird's eye view of how your workflows, apps, data, and teammates all fit under one roof. 

Canvas is for you if you want to gain clarity over key processes, identify bottlenecks, and keep your team aligned on the way your business operates. 

Learn more: Check out our guide on Zapier Canvas for a more in-depth look at how it works. 

Automate simple workflows with Copilot

Copilot is an AI-powered assistant that helps you build individual Zaps—inside the Zap editor. Like Canvas, Copilot can suggest the right apps for the job, but it will also outline the trigger (the event that starts your Zap) and any subsequent actions (the events your Zap will perform). 

Copilot will guide you through each step of building a Zap, like testing each step, connecting your accounts, and mapping the data fields—no automation experience required from you. 

Copilot's the right tool for you if you need a shortcut to building Zaps fast without getting stuck—and can even help you build custom actions if you need more flexibility over a workflow. 

Note: Both Copilot and Canvas are AI assistants that work hand-in-hand to help you build automations faster. The difference is that Canvas is more suited to those who need to visualize entire processes (even the manual steps), where Copilot helps you build individual Zaps within that process. 

Learn more: Check out our guide on Zapier Copilot for a more in-depth look at how it works. 

Scale your impact with AI and automation

Now that you've seen what our tools can do, it's your turn. 

Whether you need to personalize emails, automate support, and more, you can choose one (or all) of our AI products to start scaling. See what AI can do for you today. 

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'