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Salesforce may be preparing an Alexa-esque AI assistant for the workplace

(Image credit: Salesforce)

Salesforce is hoping to make AI an indispensable part of every business with a range of smart tools and platforms.

At its Dreamforce 2019 event in San Francisco this week, the software giant unveiled a host of enterprise-focused services and tools it hopes will spur on AI adoption in companies of all sizes.

Salesforce also unveiled its own-brand smart speaker (pictured above) modelled on its Einstein AI mascot, although whether it will go on general sale is still unclear.

"Hey Einstein"

This growth in business-focused AI is set to be powered by a major expansion to Einstein Voice Assistant, which allows Salesforce users to communicate directly to the platform and get answers instantly.

Einstein Voice Assistant is now able to be tailored to any particular industry, allowing for custom-built skills that can cover tasks from checking order history to sentiment tracking. 

“Voice is a huge shift for the industry and will be as impactful in businesses as it’s been in our homes,” said Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce. “With Einstein, Salesforce is bringing the power of voice to every business, giving everyone an intelligent, trusted guide at work.”

During his opening keynote, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff showed off a prototype device built to resemble the company’s Einstein mascot that was able to respond to queries and assist on a number of different use cases.

Awakened with the phrase "Hey Einstein", the device was a constant presence throughout the keynote, but there was no confirmation from Benioff that it would ever see the light of day outside of Salesforce’s offices. 

The news came after Salesforce announced a partnership with AWS to use AI technology from Amazon's cloud computing arm into its Service Cloud to provide call transcription services directly to customer agents.