The U.S. will likely emerge the winner in a "cold currency war" that is heating up, an expert said.Currenciesread more
These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don't count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last...Entertainmentread more
Tariffs are the only instrument left for addressing China's systematic and excessive surpluses on its U.S. trades, writes Michael Ivanovitch.US Economyread more
In its latest attempt to build market credibility, China on Monday launched the Science and Technology Innovation Board, or "STAR Market," on which 25 companies were listed.China Economyread more
When Cathy Hsu and Tony Hsieh wanted to build an English language app for Chinese children, they decided to follow Facebook and Google's lead.Start-upsread more
Stocks in Asia traded lower on Monday afternoon, as a Nasdaq-style technology board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange marked its debut.Asia Marketsread more
Instagram began tests that hide "like" counts on posts. That means influencers who market products on Instagram will have to rely on different metrics to show success.Technologyread more
Peter Neupert worked for Microsoft and Amazon-backed Drugstore.com, where he got to know Jeff Bezos. He now advises start-ups.Technologyread more
The firing of the tear gas was the latest confrontation between police and protesters who have taken to the streets for over a month to fight a proposed extradition bill and...China Politicsread more
Last week shows that oil prices are not the indicator for Middle East tensions they once were, and worries about global demand and growing U.S. production has changed that...Market Insiderread more
Facebook Vice President David Marcus is the face of the company's Libra digital currency, but the original driving force was a 26-year-old female corporate-development...Technologyread more
Artificial intelligence is reshaping Salesforce in the same way that mobile and social did in years past.
The company thrived in the transition to mobile computing with custom apps for smartphones and succeeded in social with messaging service Chatter as well as tools for tracking internet ads. Now, Salesforce is embracing AI to automate sales leads and make customer service smarter.
On Wednesday, Salesforce introduced new AI services that third-party developers can weave into their applications.
How did this internal trend start?
Marc Benioff, Salesforce's CEO, issued an edict of sorts a couple years ago telling his staff that "everything needs to be powered by AI," said Parker Harris, the company's co-founder and product strategy chief, in an interview with CNBC.
"He said, 'You know what -- we need to have AI in all of our clouds,'" Harris said.
Historically, Benioff has played the role of idea guy at the cloud software company, while the work of implementing ideas has fallen to Harris.
With AI, Salesforce engineers were doing some testing, but the efforts were propelled forward through a flurry of deals. The company acquired BeyondCore, Implisit Insights, MinHash, PredictionIO and most importantly MetaMind. Recent acquisitions Demandware and Krux also had some AI projects in the works, Harris said.
Salesforce has to keep pace with other big technology firms that are also investing heavily in AI and is paying up for acquisitions and individual hires.
Harris, meanwhile, has been busy injecting AI into Salesforce's services in accord with Benioff's directive, which came in early 2015 by his recollection. For example, the company is applying AI to its core business of tracking customer relationships and other areas like customer service interactions and marketing.
"It wouldn't have worked if we had said, 'Let's build the brain for Salesforce and then start to apply it to each of the areas,'" Harris said.
At the same time, Salesforce also wants to provide core services that other applications can use. The new tools for app developers allow third parties to pick up on sentiment and intent in text and recognize objects in images through Salesforce's Einstein portfolio.
"It's pretty cool that we're able to leverage all that AI and add it to our AI," Harris said.