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How to use the Claude AI chatbot in Slack

Claude integrates into Slack so you and other people in your workspace can use its AI smarts to get help with work-related requests, processes, and projects.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Looking for a chatbot you can use in Slack to answer questions, provide information, and generate content? One effective AI tool to consider is Claude AI.

Developed by artificial intelligence company Anthropic, Claude is accessible as a website by invitation and through an app you can add to Slack. Once you integrate Claude into your Slack workspace, you're able to directly send it a request or message. You can also include it in a conversation thread as if it were a member of your team, allowing other people to see the response and also engage with Claude.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives

Claude can help with creative and collaborative writing, summarizing concepts, and more. It will also remember your entire Slack thread and all messages so you can refer to specific comments and references in a conversation.

Here are some tasks that Anthropic suggests you can ask Claude to tackle:

  • Get a summary with bullet points and prioritized action items of lengthy Slack threads or long websites.
  • Turn conversations into structured data inputs for CRM entries, engineering tickets, tables, and more.
  • Share a website with Claude and ask questions about the content.
  • Brainstorm ideas with a group, with each participant able to mention Claude and further refine your output.

Like most AI tools, Claude has certain limitations. It may not correctly assess its own ability or memory. It may hallucinate or make up information. It can make mistakes with complicated arithmetic and reasoning and even more basic tasks. Also, it doesn't have general internet access, though it can follow links that you share with it.

Also: Self-messaging on Slack sounds lonely, but it's my best productivity hack

The Claude Slack app is currently in beta mode and free to use. 

How to use Claude AI in Slack

What you'll need: To get started, you'll need either your own workspace in Slack or a workspace that you administer and one for which you're able to add apps. You can then add Claude a couple of different ways.

1. Add Claude from the Slack App Directory

Browse to the Claude page on the Slack App Directory. Check the Slack workspace listed in the upper right to make sure the page is pointing to the right one. Then click the button for Add to Slack.

Add Claude from the Slack App Directory
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

2. Add Claude in Slack

Alternatively, open Slack first. Click the Apps link on the left sidebar and then select Add apps. Type the word Claude in the search field and then click the Add button for Claude. Follow the screens to add Claude to your workspace.

Add Claude in Slack
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

3. Learn about Claude

However you choose to add the Claude AI, the app then appears in Slack under Apps. To learn a little about Claude, select it and click the About tab.

Learn about Claude
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

4. Submit a request

To submit a question or other request, click the Messages tab and type your message in the Message Claude field. Claude then responds.

Submit a request
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

5. Submit a follow-up request

To continue the thread, you can reference a previous comment in the conversation in a new request. Type your message and wait for the response.

Submit a follow-up request
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

6. Start a new thread

To start a new thread, type /reset and then submit the request. Claude then forgets the previous conversation. Type and submit a new message and read the response.

Start a new thread
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

7. Include Claude in a group thread

Next, you can treat Claude as a member of your team or workspace by including it in a chat. To do this, select a channel in which you want to kick off a conversation. Type @Claude and do the same for any other people in the channel whom you want to reach. 

Then type your question, comment, or request. After submitting your message, you'll be told that Claude is not in the channel. Click the Invite Them button, and the response is generated. Click the Reply link to see the response in the sidebar.

Include Claude in a group thread
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

8. Submit a follow-up request

Anyone in the conversation can then write and submit a follow-up question or request, including @Claude before the message. Claude then responds to this new message.

Submit a follow-up request
screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

For more details and an FAQ about the app, check out Anthropic's Claude in Slack page. You can also send feedback and bug reports directly to Anthropic at support@anthropic.com.

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