Mar 19, 2024 - Technology

Exclusive: Generative AI is a "big unlock" for Slack, CEO says

Slack CEO Denise Dresser speaks at Axios's What's Next Summit

Slack CEO Denise Dresser speaks during Axios' What's Next Summit on March 19. Photo: Ronald Flores for Axios.

You might spend a lot less time digging yourself out of Slack threads if the company's new AI experiments pay off, CEO Denise Dresser told Axios' Hope King at the annual What's Next Summit in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Dresser was named CEO of the popular communications platform in November, the company's third chief executive since it was acquired by Salesforce in 2020.

  • King noted Tuesday marked Dresser's first live event as CEO.
  • Generative AI-powered features are set to be a "big unlock" for users of the ubiquitous work communication platform, Dresser told Axios.

What she's saying: "We're in a world where we've never had more messages, more information coming at us at one time," Dresser said.

  • Two key ways that generative AI will streamline workflow for its users are summarization of threads and channels, and searching.

Catch up quick: Slack announced last month a number of new AI-powered features, including the ability to get summaries of threads and recaps of what's happened in channels.

  • Slack required companies that want to use its AI features to pay an extra per-month fee for all users.
  • That stands in contrast to Microsoft and other rivals, which allow companies to choose to pay for only certain workers to have access to paid AI features.
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