Salesforce buys deep-learning platform MetaMind

Steven Loeb · April 4, 2016 · Short URL:

MetaMind will be shutting down and Salesforces will integrate the technology into its product

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Marc Benioff is a big believer in the power of artificial intelligence, and so Salesforce has been making big moves in the space over the last few years.

The company's latest AI acquisition is MetaMind, an artificial intelligence platform that Benioff had invested in. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

The company launched in 2014, and at the same said that its software "combines natural language processing and computer vision to solve a broad range of complex data problems, enabling automated predictions and smarter decision-making for businesses with greater speed and accuracy than ever before."

It had a concentration on "deep learning," which focuses on data processing, and allowing AI systems to learn how to break down big data sets.

As per the deal, which was announced in a blog post from MetaMind on Monday, the cpmpany will be shutting down. For its unpaid Web users, MetaMind's products will be discontinued on May 4, and for its monthly recurring users, its products will be discontinued on June 4.

The company is going to delete any data it has stored for unpaid web users and monthly recurring users after April 11.

On his website, MetaMind CEO Richard Socher now lists himself as Chief Scientist at Salesforce.

Meanwhile, Salesforce will be integrating MetaMind's technology into its products.

"With MetaMind and Salesforce coming together, we'll be able to offer customers real AI solutions with breakthrough capabilities that further automate and personalize customer support, marketing automation, and many other business processes. We'll extend Salesforce's data science capabilities by embedding deep learning within the Salesforce platform," MetaMind wrote.

When we reached out to Salesforce for more information about how it would be using MetaMind's technology, the company would only confirm the acquisition, but had no further comment.

Meanwhile, MetaMind says it plans to continue to do research on artificial intelligence, though it will now have Salesforce's resources and ecosystem to help it do so on a larger scale. 

The company had raised $8 million in venture funding from Benioff and from Khosla Ventures. 

MetaMind is just the latest AI startup that Salesforce has acquired. In December the company acquiredMinHash, a provider of assistive intelligence and data science for enterprises, and in February it boughtopen source machine learning server PredictionIO.

In 2014 it made what was likely its first purchase in this space when it bought relationship intelligence platform RelateIQ.

"We’re in an AI spring," Benioff said in a interview with Fortune in January of last year.

"For our company, and I think for every company, the revolution in data science will fundamentally change how we run our business because we’re going to have computers aiding us in how we’re interacting with our customers."

VatorNews reached out to MetaMind for more information on the acquisition. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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