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Salesforce joins the AI movement with introduction of Salesforce Einstein


By Laurie Fullerton | Freelance Writer

September 19, 2016 | 3 min read

Salesforce has officially entered the age of artificial intelligence (AI) with the debut of Salesforce Einstein, an innovation that embeds advanced AI capabilities into the existing sales force platform the company announced today.

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Combining AI with Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software is expected to bring predictive and personalized customer experiences across sales, service, marketing, and commerce to a new level.

Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Einstein will enable models to be automatically customized for every single customer. These models learn, self-tune and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. Einstein will automatically discover relevant insights, predict future behavior, proactively recommend best next actions and even automate tasks.

"With Salesforce Einstein, we are delivering the world's smartest CRM," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. "Einstein is now every customer's data scientist, making it easy for everyone to take advantage of best-in-class AI capabilities in the context of their business."

The new technology means that predictive lead scoring, product recommendations, case classifications, and the ability to quickly build AI-powered apps using the tools will enable users to build apps that include Einstein-powered fields in any object, page layout or workflow. Additionally, for data scientists and developers, a predictive vision and sentiment service will enable developers to train 'deep-learning' models to recognize and classify images and sentiment in text.

"Salesforce Einstein gives us a smart, personalized and predictive way to connect millions of sports fans to hundreds of thousands of their favorite team and player items across more than 300 offline and online stores that we operate across our platform," said Chris Orton, chief marketing and revenue officer for Fanatics, a licensed sports merchandise company. "The combination of AI and Salesforce CRM has been a game-changer, empowering our marketing organization to intelligently engage with fans through timely campaigns and relevant recommendations that transform the customer experience."

One of the key strategies for AI capabilities, however, remains good quality data.

“Artificial Intelligence is where everything is going, so it’s not surprising to see Salesforce and Oracle making a bigger push into this area. In fact, there needs to needs to be predictive and machine learning built into every business application today to help companies make better decisions, close business faster and retain customers. But the one thing that neither of these companies have addressed yet is what they plan to do to ensure that the data the AI models are built on is high quality," said Darian Shirazi, CEO of Radius.

"The biggest challenge that companies have with CRM and marketing automation systems is low quality data. And if you have low quality data, your models and applications won’t work. At the end of the day the difference between these machine learning algorithms are pretty indistinguishable and it’s going to come down to who can do a better job of mining data for the highest quality attributes to make the model actually work."

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