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6 kickass tools every Slack user will love

(TECH NEWS) What’s the point of using a platform like Slack if you don’t take advantage of all the tools people made to make it way way way better?

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Create your dream toolbox

Slack, a cloud-based instant messaging and collaboration tool seemingly on steroids, has been a favorite of American Genius since its beta launch in 2013. Since then, the team messaging app has generated 3 million users, who produce impressive engagement stats and consistently give raving reviews on the app’s abilities and functionalities. These abilities like the organized channels, direct messaging abilities, file sharing, notifications, and universal search function make Slack a cool business tool straight out of the box.

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What’s cooler than cool?

Cool is cool, but coolest is cooler, which is why we are equally impressed with Slack’s add-on tools that make it one of the coolest collaborative platforms around.

Whether you are already a Slack user and want to beef up your experience or you’re just now hearing of Slack, keep reading to see all the goodies that can leverage productivity among your business team.

1. Growth Report

growth metrics
Growth Report
Business owners everywhere understand an entity can’t be much of anything if there is no growth, which is why Growth Report is such a noteworthy tool.

Weekly growth, retention, user behavior, and acquisition numbers are easily tracked and provide businesses insight to their growth or lack thereof.

The report can be accessed from an email sent from Slack, or from the Slack interface directly.

2. Talkus

talkus app
Talkus
is a fairly new widget that provides Slack operators a glimpse into how users perceive and view their website through live chat.

Visitors have an option to instant message a support member and receive updated status tickets. Through simple commands, a user can then assign visitors to a team, invite expert teammates to the discussion, and distribute a user satisfaction survey.

Full customization options, email feedback, visitor information, text formatting, and the option to embed images make converting visitors, engaging customers, and managing customer support a breeze in Slack.

3. Skylar

Skylar AI
Dubbed “Siri for Slack,” Skylar serves as an automated personal secretary that organizes and consolidates users’ information within Slack. With functions like Asynchronous communication, business integration tools, mail forwarding, Google calendar integration, custom question ability, and Dropbox Integration, who wouldn’t want a Skylar on their team?

She even has the capacity to work outside of the Slack interface for work related and non-work related to-do’s, like ordering food and sending you the bill within Slack. There are different pricing plans for Skylar, but don’t fret on cost; with the amount of time Skylar saves, you’ll make that money back in no time.

4. Hamster Pad

hamster pad
Hamster Pad
is a comprehensive list of which chats are trending at the moment, how many people are in each chat, and how many are actively online. Users can find balance between promoting their product and engaging targets to gain success through a community identified by Hamster Pad as trending.

Another one of our AG writers said this tool’s dedicated communities reminds her of subreddits, but with real-time messaging.

5. Nurtz

nurtz
Basic spell check is neat and all, but Nurtz is way neater in that it lends a human proofreader to any text within Slack. Users can actually send a message to a human without leaving the Slack platform.

When the text is ready, your proofreader will message you back an edited copy.

The first 100 words are completely free and we encourage you to check it out for yourself. If spell check is your “thing”, we guarantee Nurtz is your next best thing.

6. Birdly

birdly
If a personal assistant tool and human proofreader weren’t enough to help Slack users collab like the bosses they truly are, then Birdly might do the job. This Slack add-on offers financial assistance through the managing of expenses. Users first upload expenses from their phone, computer, or tablet (i.e. receipts and invoices).

The data is then analyzed and Birdly creates an Excel spreadsheet in real time, along with a summary that can be separately saved. In case you accidentally send in the wrong expense, a REAL HUMAN BEING will review the message and make sure data is entered correctly. Multiple currencies are also available for International handlings.

Give yourself some Slack

Slack is cool, but slack with add-on’s are cooler. We encourage you to take advantage of Slack for free, along with the aforementioned tools to improve both productivity and communication among your team

#SlackRoundup

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

Tech News

A look into why AI couldn’t save the world from COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) AI is only as powerful and intelligent as the teams building it, but we just don’t have the data yet. So perhaps, we just aren’t there quite yet.

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COVID-19 AI

Even in the best of times, the human race can hardly be defined by our patience in the face of uncertainty. COVID-19 has rocked our feelings of safety and security. Hospitals have struggled to keep up with demand for care, and researchers are working tirelessly to create a vaccine. Early on in the fight against this virus, some looked to artificial intelligence technology to lead the pack in finding a solution to the global health crisis, but science takes time and AI is no different.

Over two months ago, when COVID-19 was still most prevalent in China, researchers were already attempting to use AI to fight the virus’ spread. As Wired reports, researchers in Wuhan, China attempted to screen for COVID-19 by programming an AI to analyze chest CTs of patients with pneumonia.

The AI would then decipher if the patient’s pneumonia stemmed from COVID-19 or something less insidious. This plan failed for the same reason many pursuits do – a lack of time and data to pull it off.

The United Nations and the World Health Organization examined the lung CT tool, but it was deemed unfit for widespread use. The lung CT tool, and all other AI driven projects, are limited by the humans designing and operating them.

We have struggled to collect and synthesize data in relation to COVID-19, and as a result tools, like the lung CT scans, cannot hope to succeed. AI is only as powerful and intelligent as the teams building it, so perhaps, we just aren’t there quite yet. Our tenacity and optimism continue to drive AI forward, but progress can only be sped up so much.

Like all science, AI has its limitations, and we cannot expect it to be a miracle cure for all our problems. It requires data, experimentation, and testing just like any other scientific pursuit. There are many problems to unlock before AI can be a leader in the driving force for positive change, but its shortcomings do not outweigh its potential. AI couldn’t save us from COVID-19, but as researchers continue to learn from this global event, AI may still save us in the future.

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Tech News

Chrome can now group and color code your open tabs

(TECH NEWS) Do you have too many tabs, and can’t tell what’s what? Google has tab groups that make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

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google tabs group

Are you a tab collector? That’s Google’s name for people who have tabs upon tabs upon tabs open on their Google Chrome browser. And while third party apps are already available to help collectors manage tabs, Google is now stepping in with Tab Groups.

Tab Groups, try it here, allows users to color-code, group and add text or emoji labels to separate clusters of tabs in their browser.

Right-click on any tab and choose Add to New Group. A gray dot will appear to the left of the tab and outline it in the same color. Clicking on the dot lets users update the color, label and name the group. Once grouped together, the tab groups can be moved and reordered. They’re also saved when Chrome is closed and reopened.

Google said after testing Tab Groups for months, they noticed people usually arranged their tabs by topic and that appeared most common when people shopped or were working on a project.
“Others have been grouping their tabs by how urgent they are, “ASAP,” “this week” and “later.” Similarly, tab groups can help keep track of your progress on certain tasks: “haven’t started,” “in progress,” “need to follow up” and “completed.”

Of course, this new feature does nothing to dissuade users from opening too many tabs, despite research that says multitasking may change the structure of your brain and Chrome is notorious for using too much RAM. So now you can’t concentrate, and your computer is running hot and slowing down.

A solution? Use Chrome extensions such as The Great Suspender, which suspends tabs that have been inactive for a specific amount of time. Don’t worry, you can whitelist specific websites so if you always need a tab for Twitter open, it won’t be suspended.

Another tip is to focus on one task at a time using the Pomodoro Technique, breaking tasks and your workday into 25-minute bursts of productivity with five-minute breaks in between. FocusMe uses a timer and website blocker to reduce the risk of getting distracted. You’re on the internet, after all.

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Tech News

Quarantine bod got you down? AI trainer Artifit lifts you up

(TECH NEWS) If staying home has caused some unfortunate weight gain, Artifit can help you keep your home body fit during and way after quarantine is over.

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Artifit website

Mandatory lockdown’s have changed people’s routine’s in every conceivable way. From the way we work and cook to how we exercise. Home workout routines have been a hot topic in the last couple of months. People are trying to find a way to retain some sense of normalcy and maintain their healthy lifestyles We’ve all heard jokes about the so called “Quarantine 15” online and maybe you’ve even made a disparaging comment or two about your weight since gyms closed.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with a little weight gain the face of a global pandemic. The world is changing, your life is changing, and times are scary. Be gentle with yourself and those around you.

If you are looking for a way to get regular workouts back into your life and YouTube videos just aren’t cutting it, there is a high-tech solution. Artifit is an AI personal trainer designed to make your solo workouts safer and more effective. The app acts as your personal trainer by creating your workout plans, tracking progress, and providing posture corrections.

The app uses your phone’s camera to track your reps and spot errors in form while providing real time audio feedback. According to the app creators, [Artifit] recognizes 20 major joints movements via mobile camera, and we are constantly working on adding new joints and improving the algorithm.”

Beyond the workouts, Artifit taps into your competitive side by providing you with a score at the end of each work out that you can then share with friends. The app measures and analyze your progress over time and uses this data to create a workout plan that is best suited for you.

There are a ton of reasons you might be looking for a tech-driven approach to your workout routine. Most of us already rely on technology to track out movement in one way or another – think about the Health app on your phone or your Fitbit. Working out from home isn’t for everyone, but some are thriving under a more flexible schedule and want to keep it that way.

If you are not sure when you’re going to feel comfortable going to the gym again or you no longer want to fuss over scheduling appointments with a personal trainer, this could be the app for you. Artifit can help you keep your homebody tendencies intact way after quarantine is over.

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