Salesforce Aims to Up Its AI Game

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A recent acquisition looks to bring artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities to the CRM powerhouse.

Marketers using Salesforce products may soon find artificial intelligence–enabled features rolling out across the CRM platform due to the company's acquisition of AI and deep learning technology service MetaMind.

MetaMind CEO Richard Socher announced the merger through a company blog post. The acquisition will ostensibly infuse Salesforce's existing services with MetaMind's natural language and deep machine learning software, which can reportedly analyze images, as well as text and sentiment.

"At MetaMind, we've always been excited to bring breakthrough AI to high impact use cases. I can't think of a better place to have impact with AI than Salesforce and its many existing and future products," Socher said in a separate statement.

This acquisition speaks to a trend toward machine learning at Salesforce and across the CRM industry in general.

“Last year [Salesforce] bought RelateIQ, which is, of course, relationship intelligence… there's a deeper dive into that with MetaMind, and being able to leverage [that] technology,” says Brent Leary, cofounder of CRM consulting firm CRM Essentials. “This moves them further along the path they were already on.”

Leary points to other big names in the tech world that are also treading along this path, namely Microsoft and Oracle. “The big guys are really doubling down leveraging deep technology, natural language processing, [and] machine learning to find those insights that their customers can use to build relationships, and build them as efficiently as possible.”

This notion—that marketers can use technology to glean deeper and more meaningful insights at scale—has grown increasingly more prevalent, even outside behemoth brands.

“We're now moving away from historical, static views of your customer data to more dynamic, real-time applications that can connect customers across a multitude of customer touchpoints,” says Ian McCaig, CMO of personalization and data science company Qubit. “This was just a pipe dream a few years ago.”

While details on the specifics of the Salesforce and MetaMind deal remain sparse, MetaMind paid users will retain access to the company's services until June 4, while free users have until May 4 to access MetaMind's offerings.


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