“‘Did you ever see the movie Her?’ Slack Technologies’ founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield asks,” Amir Mizroch reports for The Wall Street Journal. “He’s comparing Samantha, the artificially intelligent software program voiced by Scarlett Johannson in the 2013 movie, with Slackbot, Slack’s built-in virtual office assistant. In time, he says, Slackbot could have similar capabilities.”
“Slackbot is currently a helpful icon that pops up to provide tips and perform searches. It also, at times, delivers lines of humor programmed by a human writer,” Mizroch reports. “Butterfield doesn’t plan on making Slackbot a sentient artificial intelligence like in the movie, but rather infusing the Q&A tool with natural language processing and machine learning so that it can do mundane, time-consuming tasks like scheduling meetings that take up a lot of employees’ time and attention.”
“The company, which last week turned two, just hired its first data scientist, and it’s looking to invest in artificial intelligence. Butterfield acknowledges the challenge, saying his company will need partners with major AI capability,” Mizroch reports. “‘Apple spent billions of dollars on Siri and worked on it for a very long time with hundreds of engineers and a huge dataset of voices – and it’s f–ing idiotic. Siri is nearly useless,’ he says.”
Read more in the full article here.