Salesforce boosts London AI scene

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Salesforce has unveiled its UK artificial intelligence (AI) centre, located in London’s Blue Fin building, which officially opens on June 18. Last year, the company pledged to invest $4bn in AI innovation and growth in the UK over five years. 

Salesforce is the second major US tech provider to establish a London AI centre this year. In April, Microsoft opened an AI hub in London to drive what it describes as “pioneering work to advance state-of-the-art language models”. The company said its London team would work closely with other parts of Microsoft and OpenAI to build the supporting infrastructure for AI and develop tools to support foundation models.

Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO, Salesforce UK and Ireland, said: “By locating Salesforce’s first AI centre in London, we are sending a clear message to customers and partners on AI: we are deeply committed to working closely together so that you can reap the rewards of this transformative technology, while ensuring it is a force for good.”

Susan Emerson, senior vice-president of product, AI, analytics and data at Salesforce, said the company runs many events that bring together thought leaders, practitioners and Salesforce product leaders to inform and inspire people “to think bigger about the potential of AI technology”.

The AI centre in London is another part of this strategy. She said that the target audience would be someone who is using Salesforce either as a Salesforce administrator or a sales stakeholder who wants to understand more about AI.  

“For some people, AI seems like a big [learning] curve,” she said, adding that the centre would help people to demystify AI technology and enable them to experiment in workshops using the AI within the Salesforce product suite. “We have all the low-hanging fruit use cases as buttons.”

For instance, within the Salesforce service desk module, there is AI functionality that provides service desk operators answers to customer inquiries based on summaries previous support cases.

As part of its UK focus, Salesforce Ventures has invested more than $200m in UK companies including ElevenLabs, the text-to-speech and AI voice generator; and AutoGenAI, the world’s leading AI bid-writing engine. 

During the company’s London World Tour, Salesforce announced the general availability of Data Cloud Vector Database. This is being positioned within the company’s Data Cloud, as a way to help businesses to analyse unstructured data sources like call transcripts, online customer reviews and support tickets.

According to Salesforce, the new functionality means that Data Cloud can now ingest disparate unstructured content from customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, including websites, social media platforms and commerce channels, at scale. The Data Cloud then uses generative AI to create embeddings on unstructured data that are indexed in the vector database.

In related news, Salesforce said the Data Cloud would be available on Hyperforce, its regional public cloud, in the UK starting July 31, 2024.


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