Slack Adds AI To Relieve The Holiday Message Backlog

Image: Slack

I love holidays but there are two things that really bust my chops about taking some hard-earned R&R: the massive push before you leave to clear everything from your to-do list and coming back to a billion messages. While there’s not a lot you can do about the first problem, Slack is taking a crack at the second part - at least when it comes to messages. Highlights is an intelligence layer that the company says will transform the way people keep up with critical information and build connections at work.

Highlights looks through your message feed and picks out what it thinks are the ten most important messages you’ve missed during your time away. This seems a lot smarter than my approach of ignoring anything more than 24 hours old and hoping anything important you’ve missed will be followed up with a call when people realise you’re back from leave.

According to the Slack blog:

Next to each Highlight, Slack will tell you why the message was marked relevant for you — maybe close coworkers kicked off an important thread, or perhaps a colleague shared a click-worthy link. From there, you can quickly skim through each Highlight, or jump to the message in channel to reply, react, or read for more context.

Highlights learns from how you use Slack to identify the types of messages and people you interact with the most.

Bots and AI are an area all the major messaging platforms are really hooked into. At the recent AMP Amplify conference in Melbourne, I attended a panel discussion on this topic with reps from Google, Facebook and Slack discussing the topic. It’s one they, and many others, are investing in heavily.

If someone could apply this kind of AI to email so messages that are important to me (not the sender) could be flagged that would make life a lot easier.


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