AI news

Salesforce today at a WorldTour event in New York demonstrated how it has expanded the capabilities of the artificial intelligence (AI) tools it provides for its Slack messaging and collaboration platform to include a conversation summary capability that enables the platform to provide a daily digest of conversations that can be automatically delivered every morning.

Now generally available to all paid Slack customers, languages that Slack AI now supports in addition to English now include Spanish, and Japanese with support for other languages to follow.

Slack AI is based on a large language model (LLM) that Salesforce hosts in a virtual cloud. That LLM has not been trained using any Slack customer data. It is also designed to be integrated with Salesforce Copilot, an AI assistant that Salesforce is making available across the rest of its application portfolio that is now generally available. Slack AI is also already integrated with platforms such as Google Workspace and LinkedIn to enable employees to aggregate messages in a way that can be used to, for example, automatically generate a sales proposal.

In addition, Salesforce today revealed it has embedded Slack AI into Slack Sales Elevate, a workspace that natively integrates Sales Cloud with Slack and Slack AI and extended its Salesblazer Community to enable sales professionals to collaborate in real-time using Slack.

AI technologies are on the cusp of driving major increases in productivity, says Ketan Karkhanis, executive vice president and general manager for Sales Cloud at Salesforce. Salesforce customers are already saving an average of 97 minutes per user each week using Slack, he notes. “That adds up to one extra selling day a week,” says Karkhanis. “We’re heading into a productivity super cycle.”

However, A Salesforce survey of nearly 6,000 global knowledge workers finds well over half that are already using AI find it difficult to get what they want out of AI right now, and more than half said they don’t trust the data used to train AI models.

It’s still early days when it comes to operationalizing AI but Salesforce customers already taking advantage of Slack AI include Wayfair, Beyond Better Foods and ProService Hawaii.

The challenge organizations face is that in the absence of any formal training, employees are largely experimenting with AI tools. How well the prompts an employee creates determines the quality of the output generated by the AI tool. In many cases, employees are still finding it simpler to continue performing manual tasks they already know how to do themselves, simply because they have not taken the time to master the nuances of a generative AI tool. Over time many organizations will address that issue by creating a library of vetted prompts that employees can use to automate specific tasks.

Longer term, the reasoning engines embedded in generative AI platforms will become even more advanced, enabling employees to use prompts to automate a series of tasks that might be required to, for example, fulfill a sales order.

One way or another generative AI will soon be embedded within almost every application. The challenge and the opportunity now is making sure employees get the most out of those capabilities as possible.