AI Copilots Are ‘Redefining’ Sales And Service Jobs, Says Salesforce AI’s CEO

 Clara Shih has been deeply involved in artificial intelligence, long before it became a global phenomenon. She was first exposed to AI during her time at Stanford and later went on to develop AI technologies in her roles at Hearsay Systems and Salesforce. As the CEO of Salesforce AI, she is at the forefront of incorporating AI into the company's products, aiming to revolutionize the workload of sales and customer service representatives. By automating mundane tasks, such as research and email communications, Salesforce aims to redefine roles in the professional "knowledge worker" class.

Shih's background in both technical expertise and management makes her uniquely positioned to lead such pioneering efforts. Her return to Salesforce in 2020 marked the creation of her role as the head of AI, highlighting the significance of generative AI in shaping the future of work. Under her leadership, Salesforce AI has developed various AI-powered functions, including Sales GPT, Marketing GPT, and Commerce GPT, as well as the all-encompassing Einstein GPT, capable of diverse outputs, from marketing copy to code.

While these generative AI tools are impressive, they also raise concerns about security and privacy. Shih has implemented measures such as content filtering, human approval before sharing, and anonymization of sensitive information to address these concerns. Shih also emphasizes the potential for AI to free up workers from routine tasks, enabling them to focus on more creative and value-added responsibilities.

However, she acknowledges that the adoption of AI may lead to the elimination of certain jobs. She advocates for upskilling and embracing AI as key strategies for workers to adapt to this technological shift. Shih is not only shaping AI strategy within Salesforce but also actively investing in AI startups through Salesforce Ventures’ generative AI fund. She underscores the importance of AI as a collaborative tool, describing it as a "thought starter" and a "copilot."

In summary, Clara Shih's work at Salesforce AI reflects a pivotal moment in the intersection of technology, society, economies, and jobs, signifying a significant shift in the future of work.  

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