As companies explore new ways to use artificial intelligence, Salesforce is focusing on opportunities for it to affect customers directly. Toward those efforts, in 2021 the company hired Silvio Savarese, a Stanford computer science professor, as its new Chief Scientist. For Savarese, the role allows him to continue his two decades of research in a real-life application – and with Salesforce’s considerable resources. Now, he and his team are working to use AI to empower businesspeople to easily exceed their own skill sets.
One of his team’s main initiatives is CodeGen, a large-scale language model that enables conversational AI programming, essentially letting anyone write code with their voice. Instead of writing the code, users can describe their problems or needs in conversational English, and AI does the rest. While the technology is still in the experimental stage, Salesforce hopes to develop two models: one for experienced developers and another for users with no coding experience. If CodeGen makes it past the experimental and testing phases, the program could be used with Tableau, the data visualization platform Salesforce acquired in 2021.