Slack AI Brings Generative Features to Channels and Threads

Slack AI is a new paid add-on for enterprise clients that want to boost productivity using artificial intelligence. Generative capabilities in the initial release include personalized responses to questions, channel recaps and thread summaries that promise to “catch you up on long conversations in one click.” Slack says pilot data indicated customers including Uber and Anthropic “could save an average of 97 minutes per user each week using Slack AI to find answers, distill knowledge and spark ideas.” Slack AI is backward compatible, generating information based on the history built over time on the platform.

Slack is home to a wide range of work conversations, from creative to marketing, IT and HR. “This collective intelligence — accrued across channels over the years — largely remains siloed, keeping users from making the most of it,” VentureBeat writes, noting that finding information usually requires “a lot of back and forth across channels and threads” to find what is needed.

To make this more convenient, Slack owner Salesforce is “combining organizations’ collective intelligence with generative AI and launching three key features right within the Slack app — channel summaries, thread recaps and AI search,” per VentureBeat.

As an enterprise communications service, “Slack has become a de facto storage repository for institutional knowledge, but getting at that information has been challenging with conventional search tools,” TechCrunch observes, with Slack AI aiming to make it more accessible.

“These new AI capabilities empower our customers to access the collective knowledge within Slack so they can work smarter, move faster, and spend their time on things that spark real innovation and growth,” Slack CEO Denise Dresser says in a blog post.

Now teammates don’t have to fret about missing conversations. “All they have to do is click on a sparkle-shaped button and the models under the hood will automatically come into play, analyzing the messages in the channel/thread and providing a concise summary of everything discussed,” VentureBeat. “Threads get a single summary while channels get a list, classified by most relevant topics.”

Slack AI can also search within specific topics or timeframes.

In May 2023, Slack announced at the Salesforce World Tour in New York that it would incorporate GenAI. It did so by customizing third party models that now run on its virtual private cloud. In its blog post, Slack stresses that it did not use customer data to train large language models and emphasized all data remains in-house.

Currently, Slack AI is available only in the U.S. and UK to Slack Enterprise subscribers. The company says it is working on expanding to additional languages and plans.

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