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Atlassian sprays more machine learning over its cloudy BitBucket, Jira, Confluence wares

Ouch, that 'smarts'

As one of the pandemic winners (in terms of customers), Atlassian is keen that all those newly remote workers sign up to its cloud services and to that end has waved the machine-learning wand over more of its wares.

The Trello-maker said today it was pushing more machine learning into its cloud product lines.

The company had already begun to apply AI to its list maker Trello back in 2019 and today announced productivity features across its wares based on the user patterns of over 150,000 cloud customers.

Referred to as "smarts", the features have now reached general availability and, according to Shihab Hamid, head of product for Atlassian's Teamwork Platform, "enable a more powerful and seamless collaboration experience."

That "seamless" experience includes smart search in Confluence Cloud, Jira Software Cloud and Jira Service Desk Cloud, and a "predictive pull request experience" in Bitbucket Cloud. Atlassian's ML-derived algorithms will also soon be able to cluster similar tickets in Jira Service Desk.

Sounding for all the world like a jumped-up version of Microsoft's IntelliSense combined with Microsoft 365's Project Cortex, smart search personalises things based on what users have recently worked on. Instant results pop up with a best guess while smart search grinds away in the background.

Intelligent filters in Jira Software and Confluence get the scope of searching correct 89 per cent of the time, according to Hamid, and a personalised overview of recently worked-on Confluence documents are present to start a customer's day.

Those worried about the Atlassian machine-learning algorithms watching them should not be concerned, according to Hamid, who told us "We leverage patterns across users, not any user-identifiable information, to keep things private."

That watching leveraging extends to identifying with whom a user tends to work. The knowledge is then applied when suggesting people in predictive user mentions in Jira and Confluence and a predictive user picker elsewhere.

All are handy tools, although Atlassian doubtless has an eye on what Microsoft et al are working on in the collaboration arena.

The "smarts" are also limited to those who have fully bought into the company's cloud vision (and subscription) – The Register asked the company what "smart" options would exist for self-managed customers and were told "we have no plans to release on-premises versions, as the capability is built on top of the Atlassian Platform for our cloud products." ®

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