- Introduction of Slack AI suite by Salesforce.
- Features include channel synopses, thread digests, and AI-powered search responses.
- Lists for task management and improved workflow authoring tool.
- Enhanced security and compliance.
- Availability and prospects of Slack AI.
One lunar cycle after introducing a novel experience for Sales representatives and an overhaul that garnered both admiration and disdain from its worldwide user base, the messaging platform Slack is advancing on its mission to facilitate collaborative work for corporations.
Today, under the aegis of Salesforce, the platform has unveiled Slack AI, a fresh suite of generative AI capabilities seamlessly integrated into the messaging interface. These innovations are poised to afford users the luxury of time efficiency and heightened productivity.
These attributes will be unveiled at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce symposium next week. Additionally, a novel Lists functionality will be introduced to enhance the management of assigned tasks. Furthermore, an upgraded workflow authoring tool will extend the ability for more users to create automated processes and accomplish tasks within the platform.
Rob Seaman, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Product at Slack, expounded on the platform’s evolution: “Slack commenced as a channel-centric messaging platform, but we are currently metamorphosing it into an intelligent productivity hub. Our focus pivots on three pivotal domains:
“Firstly, collaboration, the familiar terrain cherished by all.
Secondly, knowledge, wherein Slack becomes the ultimate repository of corporate wisdom.
Lastly, automation, where we endeavor to empower every individual on Slack to automate their tasks and augment their efficiency.”
Streamlining Workflow with Slack AI
Back in May, when Salesforce introduced Slack GPT, they vowed to infuse LLM-powered features across various facets of their product. Today, with the introduction of Slack AI, the initial wave of features has been initiated. Channel synopses, thread digests, and search responses comprise this inaugural batch.
Channel synopses and thread digests, as the nomenclature implies, will provide users with AI-generated concise overviews and summaries for both channels and individual conversation threads. This affords users the means to rapidly familiarize themselves with the salient points, without trudging through a litany of messages from the outset.
This feature proves particularly invaluable when users have been absent from the discourse. For instance, if a domain expert has recently joined a conversation related to incident management, they can swiftly peruse the synopsis to grasp the issue and offer requisite guidance.
Similarly, users returning from leave, can promptly extract key highlights from their last interaction, allowing them to swiftly hone in on pertinent matters. This function can be employed to distill vital themes from feedback channels or draft progress reports for project discussions.
An especially commendable facet of the channel recaps feature is its inclusion of the information source alongside the highlights, fostering trust and transparency within the user experience. Users can effortlessly navigate to the source while perusing the highlights to delve deeper into the details.
Moving forward, with Search Answers, Slack has seamlessly integrated generative AI into the search functionality of the platform, enabling users to pose natural language inquiries and receive lucid, succinct responses, akin to an experience akin to ChatGPT.
This feature harnesses the collective wisdom housed within Slack, including relevant messages and the contextual nuances they encapsulate, to furnish answers within seconds, whether the query pertains to a project, team process, product launch, or any other topic.
However, it’s imperative to note that this fresh experience will not supplant the conventional search function. The summary will manifest atop the regular search results that Slack provides, encompassing pertinent messages, files, and channels.
Rob Seaman affirmed that the prime advantage of these AI features is their reliance on Slack’s secure foundation. These native AI capabilities guarantee the same level of security and compliance that customers have come to expect from Slack.
A Host of Additions
In tandem with the novel AI features, Slack is introducing Lists and an enhanced workflow authoring tool for enterprise users.
The Lists functionality seamlessly intertwines task management capabilities into the communication flow on Slack. This empowers users to compile lists of ongoing projects, assign them to relevant stakeholders, and monitor their progression until fruition.
Teams can effectively manage diverse types of work using lists, ranging from addressing IT requests and reviewing a slate of legal approvals to orchestrating a roadmap or cross-functional projects. Importantly, given its integration into Slack, teams can collaborate on lists with the same ease and swiftness as they do within channels.
Mentioning colleagues will trigger alerts, akin to mentioning them in a message, sharing content with channels provides a seamless experience, and each item on a list can accommodate in-depth discussions through individual threads.
Simultaneously, the improved workflow authoring tool empowers teams to devise automated processes sans the need for coding. By harnessing workflow connectors from Google, Asana, Jira, and other platforms, users can seamlessly integrate multiple tools into a unified workflow for task automation across Slack.
Furthermore, it will come equipped with a fresh automation hub replete with prebuilt templates for swift initiation and enhanced methods of sharing, remixing, and reusing workflows over time. Users can even incorporate Salesforce Flow automation and custom apps, hosted within Slack, into their workflows.
Availability and Outlook
While these enhancements hold the promise of a revamped Slack experience, they are not quite ready for deployment as yet. According to the company, Slack AI and the work management capabilities will undergo pilot testing during the forthcoming winter and are slated for full-scale release sometime in 2024. In contrast, the improved automation builder is currently accessible to users, with its hub set to debut later this month.
According to Seaman, the three AI features unveiled today have demonstrated the most significant value in internal testing. The company is also exploring additional applications, including potential implementation in Slack Canvas, which might make its debut in subsequent stages.