Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is experimenting with yet another way to bring generative AI into the app, this time via an AI assistant in your LinkedIn inbox that’ll be able to provide quick answers to questions as you engage in your DMs.
As you can see in this screenshot, shared by app researcher Nima Owji, the new LinkedIn inbox assistant would be available via a dedicated icon in the UI, which provides you with a generative AI assistant for your LinkedIn responses. That could make it easier to research key points, check spelling, get advice on conversational elements, etc.
The addition would expand on Microsoft’s growing generative AI empire, with the tech giant looking to use its partnership with OpenAI to incorporate ChatGPT-like tools into every surface that it can, which has already seen it add AI generated profile summaries, job descriptions, post creation prompts, and more into the LinkedIn experience.
LinkedIn also added generative AI messages for job candidates within its Recruiter platform last month.
It would also see LinkedIn finally follow up on its inbox assistant tool, which it actually first previewed back in 2016.
This slightly blurry image was lifted from a LinkedIn presentation seven years back, where LinkedIn previewed its coming ‘InBot’ option. InBot, powered in part by Microsoft’s evolving AI tools (at the time) was supposed to synch with your calendar, which would then enable it to automatically schedule meetings on your behalf, arrange phone calls, follow-ups, and more.
But it never came to be. For whatever reason, LinkedIn abandoned the project shortly after this announcement – most likely because LinkedIn was looking to latch onto the short-lived messaging bots trend, which Meta believed would be a revolution in customer service. Till it wasn’t.
Because messaging bots never caught on, LinkedIn likely decided not to bother - though it is interesting that, even back then, shortly after Microsoft’s acquisition of the app, LinkedIn was already talking up the potential of merging Microsoft-powered AI tools into LinkedIn’s functions.
It’s taken a while for that to come to fruition, but soon, we may have a better version of InBot incoming, which would theoretically be able to incorporate these originally planned functions, along with more advanced generative AI responses and prompts.
That could actually be pretty valuable on LinkedIn, with various functions that could help you maximize your lead nurturing efforts, including immediately accessible info on the user that you’re interacting with, to personalize the exchange.
Of course, there is also a level of risk that the more AI tools LinkedIn adds, the less human the app will become, with users getting generative tools to come up with more posts, messages, profile summaries, and everything else in between over time.
Eventually, that could see a lot of LinkedIn interactions becoming bots talking to other bots, while the real humans behind each account remain distant. Which would see more engagement happening in the app – and would certainly make for some interesting IRL meet-up scenarios as a result. But it does also seem like LinkedIn could, maybe, be overdoing it, depending on how all of these tools are integrated.
We’ll find out. There’s no timeline on a potential launch for the new AI chatbot tool as yet.