AI vs Automation: What’s The Difference?

Without the technical stuff

Quick breakdown:

AI:

  • Simulates human decision-making.

  • Learns and evolves from data.

  • Handles tasks requiring judgment. (Not perfectly, of course)

Think of AI as a barista who remembers your favorite blends, adjusting the coffee based on the season or even detecting when you might want an extra shot of espresso.

Automation:

  • Executes repetitive tasks.

  • Moves data between apps.

  • Predictable.

Imagine automation as a coffee machine pre-programmed to have your coffee ready at 8 AM, every day.

What about automating a task or process with AI?

🔎 A practical example

Suppose you have a Notion form on your website to collect leads and you want to send those leads to Google Sheets.

Automating it means transferring the new lead (data) submissions to Google Sheets.

But what if you'd like to prioritize leads based on responses? Automation can't infer from the text what the priority level is.

You could manually review those lead submissions or copy and paste them into ChatGPT... but let's be real, ain't nobody got time for that.

This is where combining AI with automation shines.

🛠️ How it’d work:

  1. New lead submission triggers the automation.

  2. AI steps in, analyzing the lead submission and marking it as "High, Medium, or Low Priority" based on the instructions (prompts) you've set.

  3. The automation then sends the analyzed lead submission to Google Sheets, now enriched with a priority level.

Recap:

  1. Automating processes means robots automatically perform tasks without human intervention, based on set rules. For instance, moving new lead submissions to Google Sheets.

  2. AI involves robots performing tasks that usually require human-like decision-making, such as analyzing lead submissions and assigning priority levels based on specific criteria.

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