Salesforce to invest $500 million in generative AI startups; unveils new AI Cloud offering
Salesforce announced on Monday a significant development in its venture into artificial intelligence (AI) generative AI, doubling its venture capital fund for generative AI startups to $500 million. In addition, the CRM giant also unveiled its AI Cloud service, which aims to attract enterprise customers by consolidating Salesforce’s AI-powered products into one comprehensive offering.
Salesforce said the AI Cloud offering will encompass a range of its products, including the Einstein service, workplace-messaging app Slack, and data analysis software Tableau.
By bringing these products together, Salesforce aims to provide businesses with a unified platform that leverages AI capabilities across multiple areas. The company revealed that the starter pack for the AI Cloud service will be available at an annual price of $360,000, Reuters reported.
This strategic move reflects the ongoing competition among technology companies to integrate generative AI tools into their offerings. Generative AI enables the creation of new text, imagery, and other content based on past data inputs, and it has become a key area of focus for industry players.
Salesforce’s CEO, Marc Benioff, also stressed the transformative power of AI and the need for companies to adopt an “AI-first” approach.
“AI is reshaping our world and transforming business in ways we never imagined, and every company needs to become AI-first,”Benioff said in a statement.
By consolidating its AI-powered solutions into the AI Cloud, Salesforce aims to help businesses harness the potential of AI in reshaping their operations and driving innovation.
In addition to Salesforce’s own offerings, the AI Cloud will host large-language models (LLMs) from external providers such as Amazon Web Services, Anthropic, and Cohere. Salesforce plans to prioritize data privacy for businesses utilizing these offerings, taking steps to prevent sensitive customer information from being retained by the LLMs.
The news comes just three months after the company launched EinsteinGPT, an LLM product that uses an OpenAI ChatGPT model to integrate with Salesforce’s main web app product that keeps track of how often salespeople contact leads. Instead of manually writing emails, EinsteinGPT can automatically write marketing emails.
The Einstein GPT service was launched in collaboration with OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT chatbot, to incorporate this sensation into their collaboration software, Slack. This partnership further highlights Salesforce’s commitment to leveraging AI technology to enhance productivity and communication in the workplace.
Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT) is a type of language model developed by OpenAI. It is a neural network-based model that is trained to generate human-like text by predicting the next word in a sequence based on the words that come before it. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools use a large language model (LLM) technique to generate text in a chat-like or conversational style.