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Slack GPT quickly summarizes channels and creates canvases

The CRM giant unveiled a generative AI assistant for its Slack collaboration platform to let users quickly summarize channels, draft messages and create whiteboard-like canvases.

Slack will get a new generative AI assistant, Slack GPT.

Slack GPT's native AI features are still in development and a release date has not been set, according to Salesforce, parent company of Slack. Plans for Slack GPT were disclosed Thursday at the CRM giant's one-day conference, World Tour NYC.

Getting comfortable with generative AI

By adding a generative AI assistant to the collaboration platform, Slack is bringing GPT capabilities that can generate sophisticated text on their own ever closer to a human's everyday work experience, said Constellation Research analyst Liz Miller.

"It isn't some nebulous machine aiming for sentience anymore," Miller said. "It is a co-worker in your Slack channel."

It isn't some nebulous machine aiming for sentience anymore. It is a co-worker in your Slack channel.
Liz MillerAnalyst, Constellation Research

Slack users will also be able to integrate third-party large language models, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, to generate text, according to Salesforce. The ChatGPT app for Slack is currently in beta.

Salesforce also recently previewed plans to add Einstein GPT -- its generative AI assistant for CRM -- to its core CRM platforms, including its Sales and Service Clouds, Field Service Mobile platform and Flow platform.

Meanwhile, other major tech players including OpenAI partner Microsoft, Google, AWS, Facebook, Adobe and Nvidia -- as well as a host of smaller independent vendors -- have revealed new generative AI technologies and applications in the past few months.

But not many are in wide use yet at enterprises.

As the GPT and other generative AI releases mount from Salesforce and other enterprises, Miller worried that sales and service teams may not be willing to wait that long for the new tools.

"It is easy to understand why teams want to use them now," Miller said. "Tools in beta, and launches in the future, may not be fast enough for an AI-hungry world."

Summarizing conversations and creating canvases

Slack GPT's capabilities include summarizing text in channels, taking notes in huddles, or group conversations in Slack, and summarizing those notes, as well as providing next steps for each huddle member after the conversation has ended.

Slack GPT can also create huddle conversation-based Slack canvases, or virtual whiteboards, within seconds. Within the canvas, the user can direct Slack GPT to shorten, elaborate or change the tone of chosen text.

By incorporating GPT into Slack, Salesforce may draw in more Slack customers to use other Salesforce products, according to analyst Bob O'Donnell, founder at Technalysis Research.

"If a company has started to work with Salesforce for Slack, then they may be more open to using them for other applications, like their core CRM and other custom enterprise applications," O'Donnell said.

In addition, Slack GPT will integrate with Salesforce's Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, to let sales and customer service professionals use those same tools with their existing data.

"The capacity to summarize conversations, huddles and actions is invaluable to sellers, service agents and marketers," Miller said.

Slack GPT further tightens the connection between human and machine by enabling humans to talk to technology in their own language, Miller said. In this way, these written commands are mimicking human-to-human interactions.

"We can now have those same conversations with AI, and that is a new phase in maturity," Miller said.

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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