Slack Feels Heat from Users Over Its AI Training Policy

| Updated on May 22, 2024

Slack launched its AI in February this year and now they’re in deep trouble for its AI policy. According to Slack policy, the AI sucks up customers’ data, including messages, content, and files, to train Slack’s Global AI models. 

Slack said that by default, and without requiring opt-in, its systems have been analyzing customer data and usage information to build AI/ML models to improve the software. 

The company insists that it has built technical controls to block Slack from accessing the underlying content and also promises that data will not lead across workplaces. 

Despite giving these assurances, the admins are running to find the opt-out of the data scraping option. 

This is due to a line buried in Slack’s communication that led to a widespread controversy on various social media platforms. 

“If you want to exclude your Customer Data from Slack global models, you can opt out. To opt out, please have your org, workspace owners or primary owner contact our Customer Experience team at with your workspace/org URL and the subject line ‘Slack global model opt-out request’. We will process your request and respond once the opt-out has been completed.”

The company responded to the allegations against it through a post on X. 

The company said that it has platform-level machine-learning models for things like channel and emoji recommendations and search results and insists that customers can exclude their data from helping train those (non-generative) ML models.  

The company also said Slack AI is a gen-AI experience natively built in Slack but does not use customer data for the training process. “Slack AI is a separately purchased add-on that uses large language models (LLMs) but does not train those LLMs on customer data. Slack AI uses LLMs hosted directly within Slack’s AWS infrastructure so that customer data remains in-house and is not shared with any LLM provider. This ensures that customer data stays in that organization’s control and exclusively for that organization’s use,” a spokesperson said.

Manisha Singh

Journalist / Writer