Salesforce and OpenAI Bring ChatGPT to Slack, Resurrect Einstein With Generative AI
Salesforce has brought its Einstein virtual assistant back to life with generative AI provided by OpenAI two years after shutting down the voice assistant. The new Einstein GPT employs OpenAI’s large language models and its own databases to compose and edit emails to customers, digital advertisements, and computer code for developers. OpenAI is simultaneously releasing a ChatGPT app to embed in Slack, providing those using the Salesforce-owned communication platform with access to the generative AI chatbot and its summarization and writing assistance.
Einstein GPT essentially augments Salesforce’s AI tools with LLMs. That means clients can use natural language to produce content personalized for their business needs quickly. The AI can write emails to customers or act as a real-time chatbot with access to past case notes. It can also set up meetings and put together marketing materials targeted at potential customers online or as an email campaign. The LLM-based AI is considerably more dynamic than the chatbot templates for Einstein that Salesforce started releasing in 2021.
“We’re excited to apply the power of OpenAI’s technology to CRM,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said. “This will allow more people to benefit from this technology, and it allows us to learn more about real-world usage, which is critical to the responsible development and deployment of AI — a belief that Salesforce shares with us.”
Salesforce is also planning to invest in younger generative AI companies through its Salesforce Ventures wing. The new $250 million Generative AI Fund will look for startups in the field looking for investment. Though OpenAI is a launch partner, Einstein isn’t relying solely on its LLMs for generative AI. Salesforce hasn’t yet indicated what tier of service Einstein GPT will be part of, or if it will be deployed as an add-on.
“Einstein GPT is a combination of Salesforce’s proprietary AI combined with generative models,” Salesforce service cloud CEO Clara Shih explained in a press call ahead of the release. “Our approach is working with an ecosystem of vetted partners and customers also bringing their own generative models if they choose. OpenAI is our first initial launch partner this week, and others will follow.”
The new ChatGPT app for Slack offers a much more direct connection for OpenAI and Salesforce through their respective products than Einstein GPT. OpenAI built the app on Slack as another channel to communicate with its generative AI chatbot. The app, currently in beta, leverages ChatGPT’s capabilities with information on different Slack platforms. OpenAI sees it as a way for Slack users to quickly pull together summaries of long Slack threads, input new research, and assist in composing messages.
Being built on Slack also links ChatGPT’s channel to the data access and controls already in place for other third-party apps, meaning nothing on Slack will be used to train ChatGPT and inadvertently give away proprietary data. OpenAI has been testing the app for a few months but is now ready to release it to the public. The cost and availability of the ChatGPT app for Slack have not been revealed yet.
“The ChatGPT app for Slack deeply integrates the power of OpenAI’s cutting-edge large language models into Slack’s conversational interface. There couldn’t be a more natural fit,” Slack chief product officer Noah Desai Weiss said. “This will give customers new superpowers by helping them tap the collective knowledge of their organization’s channel archives. We’re excited to partner with OpenAI to bring more generative AI powers directly into Slack to deliver productivity efficiencies for everyone.”