Salesforce Officially Launches Einstein AI-Based Data Cloud
Salesforce has been sprinkling its brand of Einstein AI into a bevy of its products during the past couple of years, including such popular services as CRM Cloud and Marketing Cloud. Now it’s going all-out for AI in a dedicated platform.
After introducing it at last September’s Dreamforce conference, the company on June 12 officially launched the dedicated generative AI service it calls Data Cloud — a catch-all subscription service that can be utilized by enterprise IT staff, data scientists and line-of-business people alike.
CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff, speaking to a livestream audience from New York ahead of this week’s re:Inforce conference in Anaheim, Calif., told listeners that since its soft launch to existing customers last fall, Data Cloud has become the company’s “fastest-growing cloud EVER.”
“One of the reasons why this is becoming such an important cloud for our customers is as every customer is preparing for generative AI. They must get their data together. They must organize and prepare their data. So creating a data cloud is becoming that important,” Benioff said.
Einstein Trust Layer Maintains a Safety Shield
Salesforce Data Cloud includes something called the Einstein Trust Layer, a new AI moderation and redaction service that overlays all enterprise AI functions while providing data privacy and data security, Benioff said. The Trust Layer resolves concerns of risks associated with adopting generative AI by meeting enterprise data security and compliance demands while offering users the continually unfolding benefits of generative AI.
“Trust is always at the start of what we do, and it’s at the end of what we do,” he said. “We came up with our first trust model for predictive (AI) in 2016, and now with generative AI, we’re able to take the same technology, and the same idea to create what we call a GPT trust layer, which we’re going to roll out to all of our customers.
“They will have the ability to use generative AI without sacrificing their data privacy and data security. This is critical for each and every one of our customers all over the world,” Benioff said.
Einstein Trust Layer aims to prevent text-generating models from retaining sensitive data, such as customer purchase orders and phone numbers. It is positioned between an app or service and a text-generating model, detecting when a prompt might contain sensitive information and automatically removing it on the backend before it reaches the model.
Trust Layer is aimed at companies with strict compliance and governance requirements that would normally preclude them from using generative AI tools. It’s also a way for Salesforce to address concerns about the privacy risks of generative AI, which have been raised by organizations such as Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Verizon.
How the AI in Data Cloud Works
A real-life example of how AI in the Data Cloud works was offered in a demo by the French sporting goods conglomerate Rossignol, which built its reputation on high-end ski wear and apparel, snowboarding and other winter sports equipment. Due to shortened winters, it is now moving increasingly into the year-round sporting goods market, which includes mountain bikes and other products, so its product SKUs are multiplying fast.
Bringing up a Rossignol product list in a demo for the audience, a company staffer was able to populate the descriptions of dozens of products (already in the company’s storage bank) into a spreadsheet that normally would have taken a team days to research, write and edit. The demo then showed how all those product descriptions could be translated into various languages with a mere series of clicks — again saving a considerable window of time for the marketing person completing this task.
Additional Salesforce News
The company also revealed its intention to infuse Einstein AI GPT into all its services by way of a distribution called GPT for Customer 360. This will make available Einstein AI GPT so enterprises can create “trusted AI-created content across every sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT interaction, at hyperscale,” Benioff said.
Salesforce revealed new generative AI research. Key data points include:
- While 61% of employees use or plan to use generative AI at work, nearly 60% of those don’t know how to do so in a trusted way.
- Some 73% of employees believe generative AI introduces new security risks, yet 83% of C-suite leaders claim they know how to use generative AI while keeping data secure, compared to only 29% of individual contributors. This shows a clear disconnect between leadership and individual contributors.