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Today, at the NYC World Tour, Salesforce announced a new generative AI experience for Slack called SlackGPT.
The offering, as the company explained, is aimed at leveraging the power of its own and third-party LLMs with Slack’s internal knowledge to make teams more productive within the workplace communication tool. It follows a similar effort from Microsoft, which has already started integrating its AI copilot within the Teams app.
However, it must be noted that SlackGPT will take some time to reach end users. Salesforce says that the AI capabilities are still being developed and tested as part of the new Slack platform.
SlackGPT: A three-pronged effort
At the core, Salesforce said, SlackGPT’s generative experience focuses on three key areas – native AI features within the Slack app, automated workflows embedding AI actions, and the inclusion of the Einstein GPT app in the platform.
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The native features, which are currently being prototyped for the Slack user experience, will help enterprise users with aspects like summarization and drafting assistance.
For instance, if there are a number of unread messages in a channel, a user could get the summary of what’s been discussed with a click or they could get up to speed on a missed huddle by asking for a summary and action items. They could also use the writing assistant, sitting as a dedicated button in the message composer and Slack canvas, to write text from scratch, distill content and adjust its tone.
“I personally think Canvas might be a better fit (for writing assistance). If I’m writing you a Slack message, I don’t necessarily need help with that. But if I’m drafting an executive briefing document to be shared with my boss, I will probably want some help in drafting and summarizing that,” Rob Seaman, Salesforce SVP of product management for Slack, told VentureBeat.
These native features will be complemented with an enhanced no-code workflow builder, which will help teams automate their work with AI by roping in large language model (LLM)-driven apps like OpenAI’s ChatGPT (currently in beta) or Anthropic’s Claude (now available).
“If you want to distribute leads from Salesforce to business development representatives (BDRs) and you want them to effectively qualify those leads, you can build a workflow that sends leads from Salesforce into a Slack channel. Then, those BDRs could react with something like the eyes emoji, which would call a function in Salesforce to assign the lead to the person that reacted, write that over on their productivity tool of choice, and draft a prospecting mail for them using Salesforce data and a connected LLM,” Seaman said while explaining a use case of AI apps in workflows.
This essentially enables teams to use any generative AI tool of their choice to aid their work as and when they see fit. The app just has to be available within Slack’s ecosystem — which has about 2,600 apps in all.
Einstein GPT coming to Slack
Finally, Salesforce also announced that Einstein GPT, its own generative AI assistant that delivers more than 200 billion AI-powered predictions per day across Customer 360, will be coming on Slack as a dedicated app.
This will allow users to query Salesforce customer data, including things like new leads or customers likely to churn, right inside Slack using natural language prompts.
“The real power of this technology is when AI can analyze and act on the most valuable data from a company’s most trusted resource — its own internal knowledge. SlackGPT is the conversational AI platform of the future, helping organizations easily tap into their trusted customer data and essential employee knowledge so they can work smarter and make smarter decisions faster,” Lidiane Jones, CEO of Slack, said.
As of now, there is no exact date for when these new generative AI capabilities will be available to end users. Salesforce said the native AI features and Einstein GPT app are in the development phase, while the enhanced workflow builder with AI connectors will likely be rolling out this summer.
According to Slack’s new State of Work report, people adopting AI are 90% more likely to report higher levels of productivity, yet just 27% of companies currently use AI tools to help increase efficiency. These new features might just help change that.
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