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a dynamic e-commerce storefront enhanced with AI-driven personalized recommendations and a "trust layer" ensuring data security.

Einstein Copilots Everywhere: Salesforce Unveils Sweeping AI Enhancements Across Clouds

Salesforce has announced a significant expansion of its Einstein AI capabilities at the Connections event in Chicago this week. Salesforce is rolling out AI-powered assistants and features across virtually its entire cloud portfolio, aiming to help businesses harness generative AI to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive growth. I’m calling it “Einstein Copilots Everywhere.”

“With the Einstein 1 Platform we’re giving organizations the power to unify all of their data on one trusted platform. This is the key to getting results from generative AI that are actually useful in driving your business forward,” said Ariel Kelman, President and CMO of Salesforce in a press release.

Key Einstein Announcements

There are new Einstein-branded chatbots available for Salesforce Marketing and Commerce clouds.

  • Einstein Copilot for Marketers (GA June ’24): Automatically generates marketing briefs, content, and email campaigns grounded in customer data.
  • Einstein Copilot for Merchants (Beta Fall ’24): Streamlines commerce tasks like storefront setup, generates personalized promotions, and provides AI-powered SEO recommendations.
  • Einstein Copilot for Shoppers (GA now): Conversational AI for commerce storefronts that helps shoppers find products, ask questions, and complete purchases.
  • Data Cloud for Commerce (GA Summer ’24 for B2B, Fall ’24 for B2C): Unifies enterprise and customer data to power AI-driven analytics, insights, and automation for merchandising.
  • Einstein Personalization (GA June ’24): AI decision engine that leverages real-time customer data to trigger next best offers and content across touchpoints.
  • Expanding the Data Cloud with new integrations and zero-copy partnerships to harmonize data without duplication.
  • Deeper analytics and data sharing between Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud, with WhatsApp integration for connected customer journeys.
Einstein Copilots Everywhere: Salesforce Unveils Sweeping AI Enhancements Across Clouds
Source: Salesforce

Numerous commerce enhancements spanning order management, payments, storefront design, and B2B functionality, adding intelligence throughout the commerce lifecycle were also announced.

Salesforce Einstein Copilot for Marketers, Source: Salesforce
Salesforce Einstein Copilot for Marketers, Source: Salesforce

The AI CRM Arms Race Heats Up

Salesforce’s sweeping AI announcements represent a major escalation in the CRM industry’s race to embed generative AI capabilities into their platforms. Stephen Hammon, EVP and GM of Marketing Cloud, emphasized the importance of a unified data foundation during a press conference: “Using and running data cloud as it’s now built directly into both marketing and commerce cloud means it’s a great way to go and get your customers organized and available especially from all those different channels and all these different data sources.”

The expansion of Einstein Copilots into Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud shows Salesforce’s ambition to be the AI engine powering every customer touchpoint. “We truly see personalization being a cross-customer journey technology initiative that’s designed to deliver a seamless AI experience,” said Hammon. “Customers don’t want to have to think about a different model of interacting with AI, so for every application across Salesforce, you’re interacting with the same conversational interface.” Or, Einstein Copilots Everywhere.

The Einstein Trust Layer: Mitigating AI Risks for Shoppers and Brands

With the release of Einstein Copilot for Shoppers, Salesforce is venturing into the largely uncharted territory of exposing generative AI directly to end consumers via commerce storefronts. While the potential for personalized, conversational shopping experiences is immense, so too are the risks of AI missteps that could harm shoppers and damage brand reputations.

This is where the Einstein Trust Layer comes in. As Michael Affronti, SVP & GM of Commerce Cloud, explained: “It does what we call dynamic routing and data masking. It makes sure that none of the raw customer information ever leaves your infrastructure. The other advantage is that dynamic grounding on your customer data significantly reduces the chance of hallucinations.

Avoiding the Air Canada Moment

However, as the recent case of Air Canada being held liable for incorrect information provided by its customer service chatbot demonstrates, companies deploying AI to directly interact with customers must be vigilant in monitoring outputs and promptly correcting errors.

To avoid an “Air Canada moment”, Salesforce will need to double down on the Einstein Trust Layer’s anomaly detection, content filtering, and human review capabilities as Einstein Copilot for Shoppers rolls out more widely. Ongoing testing, fine-tuning, and clear escalation paths for shoppers to report inaccurate or concerning AI responses will be critical.

Salesforce’s customers should also carefully consider the appropriate guardrails and human oversight to put in place before activating Einstein Copilot on their digital storefronts. While the allure of productivity gains is powerful, brands must balance this with their fundamental duty of care to provide truthful, reliable information to shoppers.

As conversational AI rapidly becomes a mainstream customer engagement channel, establishing robust Trust & Safety protocols will be essential for realizing its transformative potential while mitigating downside risks. With the Einstein Trust Layer, Salesforce is staking out an early leadership position in this critical area. But the real test will be in the execution as Einstein Copilot faces the unpredictable realities of live shopper interactions at scale.

Looking ahead, the key question is whether Salesforce can deliver on the immense promise of democratizing AI for organizations of all sizes. “Salesforce allows us to fuse together our trusted data from across our business to deliver tailored quality experiences,” said Matthew Randall, Head of Software and Integration at Aston Martin. “The Einstein 1 Platform allows us to give our customers the personalized, VIP experience they expect, as we look to grow and enable our AI enterprise.”

Welcome to the Age of the AI CRM

With its sweeping AI enhancements announced this week, Salesforce has firmly planted its flag at the forefront of the generative AI revolution reshaping the CRM landscape. “For enterprise AI to be relevant and effective, it needs trusted data it can access in a unified way to fulfill the user needs,” emphasized Hammon. “That’s why we built Data Cloud – it’s the single source of truth that only Salesforce can deliver.”

As generative AI rapidly evolves from novelty to necessity, Salesforce’s moves this week confirm that we have entered the age of the AI CRM. “I think it’s pretty remarkable – with copilot you start by asking a question and it goes behind the scenes, compiling all the records and workflows it’s going to need to help give you an answer,” said Affronti. “Those answers can be proactive and automatic – it’s truly an amazing way to interact with AI and the Salesforce platform.”

It’s quite a promise. With Einstein Copilot as a tireless virtual assistant at their fingertips, Salesforce customers can now purchase a powerful new ally in navigating the journey to smarter, more personalized customer experiences at scale. However, as the boundaries between human and AI customer interactions blur, maintaining trust through rigorous content governance and AI security measures will be paramount. The age of the AI CRM is here – and with it, a new era of opportunities and responsibilities for all. Salesforce’s “Einstein Copilots Everywhere” vision charts an ambitious path forward.