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IBM is teaming up with Salesforce to make it easier for Salesforce customers to use data from IBM's Watson artificial intelligence platform. As part of the partnership, IBM has signed a deal to deploy the Salesforce Service Cloud for internal use there. The value of the deal and proposed pricing of the joint products were not disclosed.
The deal has several parts. Among the most notable:
Both companies, like many others in the tech industry, are making investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, by which computer programs attempt to connect data in new ways to provide new kinds of insights and assistance to users, and both frequently cite the importance of AI in their sales pitches to customers.
IBM Watson suffered some bad publicity in February, however, when University of Texas auditors released a scathing report on a high-profile project involving Watson at MD Anderson hospital and placed the project on hold, although they cautioned that the decision "should not be interpreted as an opinion on the scientific basis or functional capabilities of the system in its current state."