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AI Assistant

Artificial intelligence has the potential to enhance our work and help us in our writing, thinking, and organization. Over time, Capacities will supercharge more and more workflows with the help of AI. The first step is the Capacities AI Assistant.

Overview Image of the AI Assistant


You can find all settings on AI features in the settings under “AI Assistant”. There you can either activate or hide all AI features.

At the moment, we rely on the OpenAI GPT models for text-based AI features. The space of AI is moving very fast, and we’ll adopt the latest trends. Once open-source models become more capable, we plan to host our own models, so no data will be sent to a third-party service.


Privacy and Data Protection

If you use AI features in Capacities, some of your data will be shared with OpenAI. You can find more information in the OpenAI Data Usage Policies and our Privacy Policy.

We describe the data we share with OpenAI with every feature below. No data will be shared if you don't use any AI features.

Terms of Use

If you want to use AI features, you agree to the OpenAI Usage Policies. They disallow the use of AI for illegal activity, the generation of hateful or abusive content, the generation of malware, and more.

AI Budget

The cost of using AI is currently very high, but we expect the cost to decrease over time. Therefore, we have to limit the usage of the AI Assistant.

AI budget settings

You get a daily budget for the AI assistant. It is a budget for your Capacities account, not an individual space. We expect the cost of AI to decrease over time, and we will increase the budget accordingly.

Bring your own key

If you want to use the AI assistant without any limits, you can bring your own OpenAI API key. You won’t be charged until you hit your daily limit, even if you add your own key.

To add your own key:

  1. Create an account on the OpenAI platform
  2. Generate a new API key in your account settings
  3. Add the API key to Capacities under Settings > AI Assistant > Bring your own key

You can add multiple keys and assign them to specific spaces. They will then only be used within that space. This is especially helpful if you want to use a different key for your personal spaces than for your work-related spaces.


To use the GPT-4 model beyond the budget, you need to have an organization account (not a personal account) with API access to GPT-4. You usually get access to GPT-4 if you have had a sequence of successful payments with OpenAI. If you don’t have access to GPT-4, you will see a "Not Authenticated" error message when you try to use it. You can check wether you have access to GPT-4 by checking if the GPT-4 model is listed on your rate limits page.

Overview: Using AI to be more productive

At the moment, Capacities supports three AI features:

  • AI Chats: If you want, you can start an AI chat based on your current note or the currently selected block. You can use commands to perform common tasks such as summarization and translation quickly. Any AI chat you started can be saved as an object to have permanent access to it.

  • Ask AI command: A quick and convenient way to ask a question without launching an AI chat. Simply type your question inside a new block in your content and then type “/Ask AI”, and you will get a response to that question below.

  • AI Property Auto-Fill: Rather than manually filling in the properties of your custom objects, you can rely on the AI model's knowledge to auto-fill them for you.

AI Chat

You can launch the AI chat in the top left of the application by clicking on the “stars” icon or by using ⌘ + J on Mac or Ctrl + J on Windows.

Select a context

You can open the AI chat with different contexts. The context defines the information that is passed to the AI as a reference. Currently, the following options are available:

  • A block selection: If you select a set of blocks and then open the AI assistant from the blocks menu (or by using the shortcut), the AI will use that selection of blocks as a context. AI assistant open from blocks menu
  • The currently active object: If you open the AI assistant without selecting any blocks in your active content, you can either choose to use the whole piece of content as context or just the title and its properties. Using just the title and properties allows you to save more budget compared to using the whole object. AI assistant image
  • No context: You can also choose to share no context information with the AI. This allows you to simply ask questions and start a conversation with the AI.

Chat or use commands

You can draft your message without context at any time, but if you have chosen to use a block selection or page content as context, you can also use commands.

Commands will be applied based on the given context and are most valuable if used with a block selection.

You can trigger the command menu by typing / or +. There are several in-built commands that you can use:

  1. Summarize
  2. Continue writing
  3. List key takeaways
  4. Fix grammar
  5. Simplify text
  6. List TODOs
  7. Translate to
  8. List counter argument
  9. Find evidence
  10. Critique
  11. Find research questions
  12. Identify assumptions

image of menu

After receiving a response from the AI, you can continue chatting to improve the result or ask follow-up questions.

longer conversation

Using the result in your notes

Once you have achieved your goal, you can select from different actions. You can choose them by clicking on them or by opening the “…” menu on a specific message.

action options menu

You can copy a message, replace your selection with the message, or append it to your active document.

If you want to start the chat again or use a different prompt, go to your original message, click the three dots, and ‘reset chat to this message’.

You can have multiple chats open. Just use the AI button or the shortcut again.

Saving AI chats as objects

You may want to save your most important or eye-opening AI chats for further reference. This brings you all the functionalities that other objects have:

  • Organize your favorite AI chats in collections.
  • Tag them to relate them to relevant topics.
  • Use the object dashboard to get an overview of all your AI chats.
  • Link to your AI chats from within any other content.
  • Search your whole conversations via the full-text search.

You can save any AI chat by clicking on the purple ‘Save as object’ button which is visible in the top right of the AI chat screen.

Save AI chat as object

Once you’ve saved the chat, you can open it on its own screen. Here you can add tags, add it to collections, and rename it for easy referencing from other content later.

AI chat page view

If you have used any context for the chat, the saved AI chat will be referenced in that object’s backlink section. You can also reference the AI chat as you would any other object, via the usual @ or [[]] commands. This helps truly integrate the AI chat into the rest of your knowledge work.

AI chat backlinks

AI chat linking

If you’d like to export a particular chat, you can use any of the existing export options.

These saved chats are also fully searchable via the full-text search. The search results will take you to the message that holds the search term which allows you to quickly find content you know you’ve saved.

AI chat full-text search

This functionality also gives you the dashboard view which allows you to navigate your saved chats more easily and see what you haven’t tagged or added to a collection for example.

AI assistant on mobile

The AI assistant is especially helpful if you’re on the go. It is fully supported in our mobile app except for the use of commands.

To launch the AI assistant in the mobile app, you can select a context (e.g., a block selection or by opening the corresponding note), click on the “+” on the bottom, and then "AI Assistant". Saving your favorite AI chats as objects is supported on mobile too.

On mobile, all currently open AI chats can be accessed via the purple button on the bottom right. These chats correspond to the AI chats in the right side panel on the desktop/web version. Clicking it will open the AI chat in an overlay. You can switch between the different chats by clicking on the "Chats" dropdown at the top.

AI chat on mobile

Ask AI command

If you don’t want to launch the AI chat, there is a quick and convenient way to ask a question. You can simply type your question into a new block in your content and then type “/Ask AI”, and you will get a response to that question below.

ask ai command question and dropdown

AI Property Auto-Fill

You can also use AI to auto-fill your properties. This allows you to quickly insert a fact summary or use the AI’s knowledge so you don’t have to research it.

You can activate the AI property auto-fill by opening the property settings of a property. There you can activate AI auto-fill.

property settings

Data protection

If you use the AI, auto-fill your current object’s properties, and the beginning of your notes in that object will be sent as a context to the AI.

After activating auto-fill for your property, you can simply click on the button appearing in your property field.

property auto-fill

It’s important that you first add content to some other properties (at least the title) so the AI has some context to fill your property.

Adding additional instructions to your property auto-fill

If you're not happy with the result, you can add additional instructions to your property auto-fill. You can do this in the property settings. Additional instructions are added to the context that is sent to the AI. This allows you to give the AI more information about what you want to achieve.

Here are some examples:

  • Keep in mind that this is a summary for a mathematical concept. Keep it simple and concise.

  • This property should be a short summary of the main idea of this book. Do not include any details and keep it to 2 to 3 sentences.

  • Do not make things up. Only use information that is already in this object.

You might need to play around with different options. It helps to be very specific. You are also welcome to share you best practices in our community.

What's next

We envision AI to be used in every layer of Capacities to make your workflows simpler, faster, and more powerful. Here are some high level points on the next steps as they stand right now (May 2024). They are subject to change.

Right now, we're focusing on infrastructure first to have a solid foundation for all the heavy lifting later.

  • This will already enable AI-based semantic content search
  • Then we'll add auto-suggestions for related content (such as tagging suggestions on a semantic level, you just select what fits best)
  • Mix the different ways of searching/querying your space into one streamlined interface
  • Ask questions and chat with your whole space plus set fine-grained multi-content context for your AI chats. Currently, the AI assistant only uses the current object or a set of blocks as context. In the future, you can use your whole space content as context to use the AI assistant in combination with all values in your space. This will allow you to ask your knowledge base questions, gather related information, and much more.
  • Fully and deeply integrate each media type into this system (and fine-tune their relevance compared to user-written primary content)

We have some other ideas too such as:

  • Custom AI commands: Defining commands similar to "Summarize", etc., that can be used in the chat.
  • Executing AI commands from within your content: You can execute AI commands from within your content. For example, you can for example type "/Summarize" at any point, and the result will be inserted at the cursor position.

As to the timeline, we will try to get there as fast as possible and will release each of those steps along the way as we get there. AI-based semantic content search will enter the test phase very soon.

If you have any ideas, problems, or feature requests, please let us know on the feedback board.

Error Messages

If you encounter an error message while using the AI assistant, there are many reasons why this could happen. Here are some common problems:

  • Issues with your API key: OpenAI requires you to top up your account with credits. If you never used OpenAI before or if you have run out of credits, you will see an error message. You can check your balance in your OpenAI account.

  • No access to a model: If you don’t have access to a specific model, you will see an error message. You can check wether you have access to a model by checking if the model is listed on your rate limits page.

  • Token from a personal account: If you have a personal account, you might not have access to use the OpenAI API. You can check wether you have access to a model by checking if the model is listed on your rate limits page.

  • Invalid API key: If you have entered an invalid API key, you will see an error message. Please double-check your key.

  • Browser extensions blocking the AI assistant: Some browser extensions might block the AI assistant from working correctly. Please try disabling your browser extensions or use the app instead.

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