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28 June 2017

Salesforce introduces three new Einstein AI tools for developers

Salesforce's Einstein AI tools will help developers make the business platform smarter.
Salesforce’s Einstein AI tools will help developers make the business platform smarter.

Image: Jakub Mosur Photography/Salesforce

If you’re a customer service rep sick of dealing with an endless inbox of complaints to sift through, you might finally have some relief on deck. The complaints will still likely be endless, but Salesforce is rolling out some new AI tools for its third-party developers to help make its customer relationship management (CRM) platform even smarter and identify PR fires to put out before they have the chance to start.  

The new tools, which harness Salesforce’s in-house AI, Einstein, will give developers the ability to add features like natural language processing and image recognition to their apps for the CRM service. There are three new services available: Einstein Sentiment, Einstein Intent, and Einstein Object Detection. 

The tools were unveiled onstage at the company’s TrailheaDX developers conference by Richard Socher, Salesforce’s chief data scientist, then outlined at length in a blog post. Socher said the new services should be useful for developers of “any skill level,” giving everyone from beginners to experts the ability to create super smart new business apps. 

The Sentiment and Intent tools are both designed to help Salesforce users better understand how their contacts are feeling before even opening a message or reading a customer review by classifying the text in the messages. 

Sentiment gives developers the ability to create apps to sort messages by the perceived tone of the text as positive, negative, or neutral by identifying keywords, then automatically take appropriate actions. This could potentially push complaints up to the front of a message queue, so issues can be handled more quickly and effectively.

Intent provides a similar service, allowing developers to design apps to automatically classify what a customer is looking to accomplish by sending a message. The AI could automatically sort service requests and questions, then automatically respond or push the message to a human rep.

Object Detection looks to build on the previously released Einstein Vision, the image recognition tool the company added for developers back in March. The new service looks to give Salesforce developers the ability to train their apps to recognize multiple different objects in one image, accounting for variables like location and size. This could potentially be used for apps for retail companies to help manage their inventory automatically. 

Salesforce’s AI efforts mirror similar projects from just about every other major tech company to streamline and automate the user experience, as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are all working to integrate the smart programs into their platforms, to varying results. 

The Sentiment and Intent services are now available in beta, while Object Detection is being tested in a pilot program. Pricing for the tools won’t be announced until they’re fully developed and released to the public, according to a press release

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