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AI is not a new thing for Salesforce, which has been working on its Einstein AI platform since 2016 as a tool to help improve customer relationship management (CRM), marketing and sales processes. In 2020, the company claimed that Einstein was serving more than 80 billion predictions per day across the Salesforce cloud platform. Salesforce has also been building out its own set of generative AI capabilities in recent months, including CodeGen for building code and CTRLsum for text summation.
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With Einstein GPT, Salesforce is looking to take its generative AI capabilities a step further, integrating initially with OpenAI in a bid to help users automatically generate content, respond to emails, create marketing messages and develop knowledge base articles to help improve customer experience. According to Salesforce, OpenAI is the first of several partners that the company will be working with for Einstein GPT, though Salesforce did not provide any details on who the future partners might be.
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Alongside the Einstein GPT news, Salesforce also announced that it is launching a $250 million fund via Salesforce Ventures to help bolster the startup ecosystem around generative AI.
“We believe that the value that generative AI can deliver to enterprises is enormous,” said Clara Shih, general manager at Salesforce, during a press briefing. “Einstein GPT combines Salesforce’s proprietary AI models with vetted external generative AI. It’s being integrated into every Salesforce cloud, as well as Mulesoft, Tableau and Slack, and will transform every sales, service, marketing and ecommerce experience.”
For Einstein GPT, it’s all about the data
During the briefing, Jayesh Govindarajan, senior vice president for AI/ML at Salesforce, explained how Einstein GPT works with a combination of customer data and generative AI models.
Govindarajan said that Einstein GPT is a combination of natural language processing (NLP) components for understanding what the user or organization wants to achieve and then helping them to execute those tasks. He noted that from a technical perspective OpenAI’s GPT model is a large language model (LLM), and the goal for Salesforce is to have layers on top of it to fine-tune the model.
Some of the fine-tuning will come from an organization’s own content stored in the Salesforce data cloud. Govindarajan emphasized that the data stored in the Salesforce cloud can be kept private for the specific customer to ensure security and prevent data leakage.
There is also a human element as part of the workflow. Govindarajan said that an organization can make use of human experts as part of the Einstein GPT workflow to get feedback before any text is generated or delivered to end users.
Shih explained that the Einstein GPT will be implemented across multiple areas of the Salesforce portfolio including:
- Einstein GPT for Service will help customer service agents automatically draft relevant responses and will help the agent take case notes and turn them into knowledge base articles.
- Einstein GPT for Sales is designed to generate natural language summaries on account updates and will help to identify key contacts for a salesperson to reach out to, as well as auto-generate drafts for sales emails to send.
- Einstein GPT for Marketing is a service for dynamically generating content for landing pages, email campaigns and ads based on targeted segments.
- Einstein GPT for Developers will make use of Salesforce’s own LLM to automatically generate code snippets for Salesforce applications.
OpenAI and Salesforce aren’t strangers
A core part of the Einstein GPT initiative is Salesforce’s partnership with OpenAI.
While the formal partnership is only being announced today, the two companies know each other well. Shih noted that OpenAI is actually a customer for the Salesforce CRM service, as well as Slack. She said that she expects that OpenAI will now also be able to benefit from the Salesforce Einstein GPT updates as a user, as well as a technology provider.
With Slack, Shih said that the OpenAI team approached Salesforce in 2022 to ask if they could integrate ChatGPT directly into Slack. To that end, OpenAI built out ChatGPT for Slack, which is also being formally announced today. With the integration, Slack users can now directly access ChatGPT to summarize conversations and to get writing assistance. She noted that OpenAI had been using ChatGPT for Slack internally for the last several months and it is now available to any organization.
“Generative AI is changing the world and Einstein GPT is going to open the door for companies — from small business to the very largest enterprises, across every industry and across every region in the world — to completely reimagine how they engage with their customers,” she said.
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