Salesforce Launches AI Einstein
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Saleforce has shown off a wrapper for its CRM products that uses AI and machine learning to improve recommendations, choosing to unveil it and other innovations this week, rather than waiting for the Dreamforce Conference next month.

Einstein is the name Salesforce has given to artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that have been added to the Salesforce CRM Platform. The techniques are used for sales, service, and marketing modules, and can also be used by developers to build AI-powered apps based on Salesforce modules. 


The announcement of Einstein was made two hours ahead of the opening keynote at Oracle OpenWorld; there's a lot of rivalry between the two companies and the assumption is that the timing was chosen to steal the thunder of Oracle's CTO Larry Ellison. Salesforce is currently the market leader in cloud business software, but Oracle has big plans in that sector.

Salesforce describes Einstein as being:

"like having your own data scientist dedicated to bringing AI to every customer relationship. It learns from all your data — CRM data, email, calendar, social, ERP, and IoT — and delivers predictions and recommendations in context of what you’re trying to do."

Einstein uses a variety of data within Salesforce - customer data; activity data from Chatter, email, calendar and e-commerce; social data streams such as Tweets and images; and even IoT signals - to train machine learning models.

Once trained, Einstein provides assistance, so that sales reps can be shown a list of potential leads based on a score representing the most likely buyers of a product. The software also gives suggestions such as on when to make a phone call to follow up a potential lead.

Salesforce has put a sizeable amount of money into the Einstein project, buying dozens of startup companies in the AI and data analytics sectors, and spending around $650 million in the process. The result is a variety of tools that have been incorporated within a single CRM wrapper and around 175 AI and data analytics specialists now work at Salesforce. 

Alongside the release of Einstein, Salesforce also announced a new research group concentrating on injecting more AI into Salesforce products, using techniques including deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision.


More Information

Salesforce Einstein

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 October 2016 )