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Salesforce is going all in on AI – not just for its customers but also to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
The Marc Benioff-led CRM major announced that it will invest $2 million across six nonprofits looking to tap generative AI technologies for social impact solutions. The funding will be provided as part of the company’s “AI for Impact” accelerator and will paired with additional support initiatives such as coaching, consulting and access to Salesforce products for a fixed period of time.
“We must ensure purpose-driven organizations are granted equitable access to AI technology. Our latest accelerator aims to empower participants to push the boundaries of innovation and drive forward AI-focused solutions that better serve their communities,” Becky Ferguson, CEO of Salesforce Foundation, said in a statement.
‘AI for Impact’
While the accelerator is aimed at different social impact areas, the first cohort focuses on the education sector with Beyond 12, CareerVillage, CodePath, College Possible, Per Scholas and Teacher Development Trust.
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Beyond 12, which has helped 150,000+ under-resourced students graduate from college, will use Salesforce’s support for a gen AI solution that will create tailored content sourced from more than 4,000 college websites.
Similarly, CareerVillage, known for providing millions with personalized career advice, will accelerate its AI Career Coach offering and nearly three-decade-old Per Scholas will experiment with generative AI for speeding up the development of customized resumes and cover letters to launch tech careers of graduates.
The remaining three organizations will also tap generative AI with Salesforce’s support but these will not be user-facing solutions. Instead, these nonprofits will leverage AI to accelerate their internal workflows as well as functions like providing personalized recommendations or creating immersive role-playing scenarios tailored for teachers.
How exactly will Salesforce help?
In addition to the capital investment, Salesforce’s accelerator will run a customized program for six months to provide coaching from its in-house experts and pro bono volunteers.
Plus, the company will provide 1-on-1 consulting for one year to provide guidance on generative AI, product design, and solution architecture, as well as a 24-month contract for donated Salesforce products.
The company has not shared what these products or technologies will be, but in all cases, the broader goal would be to advance equitable access and deployment of trusted AI to support purpose-driven projects.
“We’re thrilled to tap into the transformative power of Salesforce Accelerator – AI for Impact, harnessing the latest technology to amplify our charitable mission. The support and resources provided will be transformational: a catalyst, driving significant change for the schools and communities that we serve.” David Weston, co-CEO of Teacher Development Trust, noted.
Generative AI continues to be the focal point
The move to support the use of generative AI for social impact follows Salesforce’s aggressive deployment of the technology across its own products.
At this year’s Dreamforce conference, the company launched Einstein Copilot, a native generative AI assistant that will help with a wide range of tasks across its CRM and all supported apps. Other company-specific products, including Slack and Tableau, have also been updated with handy AI smarts.
During Salesforce’s quarterly earnings call on May 31, Benioff noted that the coming wave of generative AI will be more revolutionary than any technological innovation of our lifetime, or maybe any lifetime.
“Like Netscape Navigator, which opened the door to a greater internet, a new door has opened with generative AI, and it is reshaping our world in ways that we’ve never imagined,” he said. A separate report from McKinsey notes that generative AI could increase corporate profits by $4.4 trillion a year.
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