Back when we first covered Hangouts Chat, we made mention of “@meet”, the service’s own bot assistant. As it turns out, Hangouts Chat isn’t the only one that has a bot of its own as Slack has one too, and its name is Niles.
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Available as an add-on for Slack, Niles is a chat assistant that operates within Slack itself. This means that the assistant does not need an external interface to work.
In terms of functionality, Niles is capable of performing certain tasks that wouldn’t look out of place on a full-fledged digital assistant. For example, Niles is capable of answering questions given to it by a Slack user. In the event that Niles is unable to answer said question, the assistant would proceed to ask for help from the rest of the team.
Once someone on the team provides the answer, Niles would then remember said answer for later use. In the event that said answer is outdated, Slack users can flag said answer, causing Niles to ask for a new answer in order to provide up-to-date information.
As Niles also relies on artificial intelligence, the assistant is capable of identifying common questions based on the active Slack chat. From there, Niles can provide the active chat with answers automatically or adds a new answer to its knowledge base.
For companies who are heavily reliant on Google’s “GSuite”, Niles comes in handy as the assistant has Google Drive integration. All you have to do is connect Niles to Google Drive, and you can then look up company documents with it. Additionally, Niles also has “Salesforce” integration as well, although that particular feature is still in its infancy at the time of writing.
On the privacy side of things, all of Niles conversation logs are stored in an encrypted AWS instance. Furthermore, the logs are encrypted when in transit and at rest. The team behind Niles have ensured users that they have taken “great care to make sure the data is stored securely”.
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