Salesforce has quietly been amassing talent in the artificial intelligence domain, most recently with the acquisition of MetaMind this week, a company working on deep learning for automated image recognition.
The deal follows a number of other buys by Salesforce of companies including machine learning startup PredictionIO, data science for enterprises company MinHash, and a “smart” iPhone calendar app called Tempo AI that automatically added context such as contacts and documents to calendar items.
So what’s behind Salesforce’s interest in this emerging area? Forrester Research principal analyst Mike Gualtieri told InformationWeek in an interview that Salesforce is keeping pace with consumer-focused Internet giants like Google and Facebook with these acquisitions. The MetaMind purchase is about deep learning and visual recognition of objects, a very difficult problem that data and computer scientists have been working on for years.
To what end? Watch this space…