Slack is watching how you work


The company wants to use AI to simplify your work conversations.

If you use Slack for work, you’ve likely had this overwhelming experience: You come back from a meeting to a dozen slack rooms waiting for you with unread messages. It’s the new-age email inbox, full of stuff from colleagues you may or may not even know.

Slack thinks it has the combination to solve this issue: Learning how you work, and mixing in a little artificial intelligence to pinpoint exactly where you should spend your time.

“What we’re starting to build is what we’re internally calling our work graph,” Noah Weiss, Slack’s head of search and intelligence, said at the Code Enterprise conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

“[This] is basically looking at you and seeing [which] people you seem to care the most about or respond the quickest to or interact with the most. What are the channels that you’re most active in? And then also, what are the topics that you seem to care the most about?”

Weiss continued: “That allows us to then build this layer of intelligence to then understand not just what your organization looks like, but then … how do we personalize the service based on that.”

In other words: How can Slack make you more productive by watching how you work and whom you work with?

Slack is already doing some of this. The service will already make channel recommendations to some users, and Weiss says it’s starting to test message rankings, too, so that people know who to respond to first when they’re in a time pinch.

That idea may be a little creepy, but Weiss believes Slack can eliminate a lot of the wasted time that people spend trying to locate information or prioritize their time.

“Most knowledge work is a game of telephone,” Weiss said. “Part of our job at Slack is how do we short-circuit that game of telephone more effectively.”

Here’s video of the full interview.

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