In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield compares its in-app tool, Slackbot, to Samantha, the AI from Her. “There’s a moment when Samantha reveals that she’s talking to thousands of other people,” Butterfield said, adding, “that could happen here.”
Although Butterfield says he doesn’t want to make Slackbot sentient, it will still need a ton of artificial intelligence techniques to enable Slackbot to do more than simply store links and messages. Butterfield says a natural language processing-equipped Slackbot could do tasks like scheduling meetings.
Of course, AI is tough, and Slack’s not completely set up for it at the moment, so Butterfield is looking for partners with “major AI capability.” The company hired its first data scientist recently.