Artificial Intelligence is advancing at a dizzying pace. Once a nascent field almost exclusive to academia, AI now touches every corner of our lives and is projected to boost productivity by as much as 40 percent in the next two decades.

But the progress we’ve seen so far did not result from a lone researcher off in a lab—it was driven by a community of scientists, researchers and engineers, and it’s that kind of collaboration that will drive AI forward in the years to come. That’s why we’re excited to be joining MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab’s (CSAIL) new industry initiative “Systems That Learn@CSAIL” (STL).

STL brings together pioneering AI researchers and industry leading organizations, including founding members Salesforce, BT, Microsoft, Nokia Bell Labs and Schlumberger, to democratize AI and help shape new lines of research.

While there are near limitless opportunities for AI, there is a finite supply of researchers capable of supporting these initiatives. AI research typically requires a laundry list of technical skills and expensive infrastructure and resources, making it difficult for many organizations to take part in the advancements of AI. By working collaboratively across industries, we can help lower these barriers and provide real-world applications for AI.

The ultimate aim is to democratize access and use of machine learning tools without requiring advanced knowledge of the underlying technologies. Doing so will to address the growing skills gap and forge new ground for AI research, unlocking new potential in critical industries like finance, energy, manufacturing and healthcare.

Delivering AI to the Enterprise

Democratizing AI is core to our mission for Salesforce Einstein, the first comprehensive AI for CRM. By removing the complexity of AI and embedding predictive capability across the entire Salesforce Platform, business users of all backgrounds and skill levels have the power of AI right where they work. Einstein is a landmark achievement for customers, helping any Salesforce user be faster, smarter and more productive. Now, sales reps can focus on the right opportunities, service agents can deliver proactive service, marketers can create more personalized, targeted campaigns and developers can build AI powered apps--all without the need for armies of data scientists.  

At Salesforce, we are committed to bringing cutting edge technology to our customers, and research plays a fundamental role in that. Salesforce Research, led by Chief Scientist Richard Socher, is delivering significant breakthroughs in deep learning. These advances not only help improve Salesforce’s AI capabilities, but also help drive the academic community forward. The team recently hit a major milestone, taking discoveries from the lab to the enterprise with the launch of Einstein Vision, a set of powerful new APIs that allow developers of all skill levels to bring image recognition to CRM and build AI-powered apps fast.

We are honored and excited to join MIT Systems That Learn@CSAIL as we continue on our mission to democratize AI.