Xmind recently announced that it has merged two of its applications – Xmind.works and Xmind Copilot – into a new product called Xmind AI. But unless you have followed their AI apps very closely, you may not understand what this means. I certainly didn’t.
So I asked Xmind senior VP Stephen Zhu to help us understand the developer’s path from the beginning of its AI explorations to today – and beyond. What he provided is a very clear picture of XMind’s philosophy toward AI and how that’s reflected in its product roadmap.
Chuxk Frey: What was Xmind.works? What was its purpose and functionality?
Stephen Zhu: Xmind.works was a part of the Xmind product family that functioned as an online workspace where users could create, edit, and collaborate on mind maps and other types of diagrams in real time.
Xmind is known for its mind mapping and brainstorming software, which is designed to help users organize ideas and information. Xmind.works likely offered a platform for team collaboration with the convenience of cloud storage, allowing users to access their work from any location and device.
Frey: What was Xmind Copilot? What was its purpose and functionality?
Zhu: Xmind Copilot is an AI-powered mind-mapping tool Xmind launched in early 2023, which partners with users in the mind-mapping process to boost creativity in new and engaging ways.
It provides four key AI functions to inspire new ideas, reduce complexity, and speed up the communication of your mental models:
- One-liner: generate mind maps with a single sentence.
- Inspire me: instantly unleash inspirations and expand ideas.
- Outliner: summarize the article structure with a single click.
- Ghostwriter: generate compelling content in seconds.
Frey: If I recall correctly, Xmind Copilot was an experiment – an AI-first platform. What did you learn by launching it?
Zhu: The first significant lesson we’ve learned from launching Xmind Copilot is that AI is indeed a powerful and comprehensive assistant in the mind-mapping area.
We have also observed that users are open to AI and indeed using these AI functions, such as generating mind maps by inputting one sentence, obtaining instant inspiration, summarizing the structure of articles, and quickly generating content.
User feedback and usage patterns led us to understand the value and potential of integrating AI into mind-mapping workflows, like how AI can increase creativity, reduce complexity, and improve communication in mind-mapping.
Zhu: The decision to merge Xmind.works and Xmind Copilot into a new application, Xmind AI, was driven by our vision to provide users with a comprehensive and unified mind-mapping solution.
While Xmind.works focused on collaboration and Xmind Copilot introduced AI-powered features, we realized that integrating these functionalities would create a more seamless and powerful user experience. The combination of collaboration features and AI capabilities in one application allows users to leverage the benefits of both aspects in a unified environment.
This integration was not the original plan, but as we explored the possibilities and received user feedback, we recognized the value of consolidating these tools into a single, enhanced offering.
Frey: What is the focus of Xmind AI? How does its functionality compare to Xmind.works and Xmind Copilot?
Zhu: [Xmind AI](http://xmind.ai/?ref=chuckfrey) focuses on injecting AI power into mind mapping. It’s like a close friend of yours helps you get all your ideas down in a reasonable way. Plus, it’s got another awesome feature that you can co-work with your team online, which is pretty unique—like, you won’t find this combo anywhere else.
Now, if we talk about comparing Xmind AI with Xmind.works and Xmind Copilot, it’s kind of like they’ve teamed up. Xmind.works is all about collaboration. And Xmind Copilot equips you with infinite AI power for more idea inspirations.
So Xmind AI brings the best of both worlds—it’s got the teamwork vibe of Xmind.works and the smart, helpful touch of Xmind Copilot.
Frey: Is Xmind 8 still available for those users who aren’t interested in AI-enhanced mind mapping?
Zhu: Yes, of course.
Frey: What’s Xmind’s overall philosophy about AI and mind mapping?
Zhu: Our overall philosophy about AI and mind mapping seems to center on the idea that AI should act as a support system to enhance and empower human creativity and thinking, rather than replacing it.
We view AI as a collaborative partner that sparks creativity and assists in generating and expanding ideas. Underpinned by AI, we are meant to facilitate real-time collaboration and improve the creative workflow.
Frey: What are you hearing from users of Xmind and about what they need to accomplish and how AI may help to enable that?
Zhu: At the heart of our mission, we remain closely connected with our users, attentively listening to their needs. We acknowledge that efficiency is the priority for them—particularly when it comes to sparking creativity, organizing thoughts, and managing data.
We believe the AI power will play a key role in that process because it’s able to arouse your subconscious ideas and thoughts and allocate them in a rational order.
Frey: What do you think the future of AI-enhanced mind mapping looks like?
Zhu: We believe the future of AI-enhanced mind mapping is going to be exciting! Imagine having an AI that’s like your personal assistant who will understand your thinking patterns and suggest ideas that hide deeply in your mind.
It might even predict what you’re going to say next and help you map it out in an easy-to-understand way. It could help you see connections you hadn’t thought of before, and maybe even inspire new ways of looking at things.
To learn more about and try Xmind.ai, visit the application’s website. A free trial version is available with 10 AI credits. You can upgrade to the Plus version for US$7.99 per month, which gives you access to 500 credits per month to run AI queries, AI-enhanced task management and collaboration features. A business-level package is also in the works.