Salesforce has acquired deep learning startup MetaMind in a move to integrate machine learning and smart capabilities into its cloud-powered software.
The startup focuses on natural language-based deep learning which could be applied to text-based and unstructured customer relationship management (CRM) data used in Salesforce products.
This could help automate CRM data analysis and make suggestions for salespeople about when and how to contact new and repeat customers, effectively taking care of the time-consuming analysis and business intelligence activities.
Richard Socher, founder and chief technology officer at MetaMind, revealed the acquisition plans in a post on the startup’s website. The company’s services will be shut down on 4 June and added to Salesforce’s products to augment the firm's data science capabilities.
“We plan to continue our AI research, so you'll continue to see us publish ground-breaking discoveries that advance our deep learning platform's accuracy and capabilities,” he said.
The acquisition of MetaMind may not come as a surprise to some given that Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff helped to fund the startup. No financial details of the acquisition were revealed.
Salesforce has a strong appetite for such smart technologies having recently acquired machine learning startup PredictionIO and smart calendar app Tempo AI, which it shut down last year.
The company recently launched SalesforceIQ, a smart assistant for sales people that uses relationship intelligence technology to analyse data about a company’s sales prospects, customers and partners stored in email and calendar systems.
Salesforce is also a major backer of Inside Sales, a company that uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to sift through aggregated data harvested from users to provide salespeople with guidance on how best to pursue a lead or close sales with potential customers.
Increasing numbers of companies are adopting cloud technologies as a way to inject more digital services into their IT infrastructures, and the development of machine learning and AI technology is likely to see cloud-powered deep learning systems form the next chapter for digital transformation in the enterprise.
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