Salesforce steps up developer efforts for Einstein

Salesforce is adding APIs to its Einstein AI platform and courting more developers.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor and  Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Salesforce is stepping up its efforts to recruit its more than 4 million developers to create applications for its Einstein artificial intelligence platform.

At its TrailheaDX developer conference, Salesforce will outline four new application programming interfaces for Einstein.

Salesforce launched Einstein earlier this year and has steadily rolled out efforts to broaden the platform. The overall goal for Salesforce is to democratize artificial intelligence for line of business execs as well as data scientists. Salesforce sees Einstein as a technology that can run in the background to make its various clouds more predictive.

IDC has predicted that by 2020 about 80 percent of apps will have some AI embedded.


By using data across its platform and common interactions between enterprises and their customers, Salesforce has been able to provide a good base for Einstein. Developers, however, will have to customize Einstein for their businesses and train their own models.

See: Salesforce launches Einstein Analytics, Discovery, aims to bring AI to business users | Salesforce preps guidance feature for its Einstein AI technology | Salesforce bolsters Sales Cloud with more Einstein AI | Salesforce's Einstein: One smart way to upsell AI | Salesforce brings Einstein AI to Service Cloud | Salesforce Einstein promises AI applications that 'just work' | Salesforce Einstein: Dream versus reality | Salesforce's Einstein AI platform: What you need to know

Sarah Franklin, general manager of Trailhead and senior vice president for developer relations, said the company is looking to make it easier for developers to embed Einstein. Specifically, Salesforce has launched Einstein Platform Services, which consist of two APIs each for vision and sentiment and intent.

Ally Witherspoon, director of Einstein product marketing, said the company is "doubling down" on enabling developers to train AI for their purposes. "Developers can train their own models to be relevant to their businesses. They can train Einstein to recognize logos, products and broken products as well as placement and size," said Witherspoon.


Meanwhile, Salesforce is launching new training materials for developers that revolve around Einstein. In addition, the company has partnered with Atlassian and Github for agile development training and source code management, respectively.

With Atlassian, Salesforce's "gamified" learning platform Trailhead now offers badges for Agile Basics and Agile Frameworks (Scrum and Kanban). Trailhead users can also earn a Git and GitHub Basics badge for learning skills such as code collaboration best practices.

The roll out of the new badges coincides with the introduction of Salesforce DX, a new "developer experience" from Salesforce that gives developers end-to-end support for building Salesforce applications. Developers can use the tools of their choice in Salesforce DX, but the developer community made it clear that GitHub was the preferred open control system, Franklin said. Salesforce chose to work with Atlassian on offering agile development training in Trailhead for similar reasons.

"As we were looking to open the learning platform, we wanted to choose two great partners who are very relevant in their space," Franklin said. "When we're looking at our developer community, it's really important to allow developers to use the tools they love."

So far, about 4,000 developers are using the vision API for Einstein. The object detection API is in a closed pilot and sentiment and intent is in beta. The sentiment and intent APIs will be generally available in Salesforce's fall release.

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