Salesforce Picks London for its Newly Announced 'AI Center'

Salesforce has picked London as the place it will establish its first-ever 'AI Center' (image Salesforce New York HQ)
Salesforce has picks the UK capital London as the place to open its first-ever 'AI Center'

In a landmark move, Salesforce has announced London as the place it will establish its first-ever 'AI Center'. 

The Salesforce UK AI Center, situated in the city’s Blue Fin building, will foster collaboration among industry experts, partners, and customers, advancing AI innovation while providing critical upskilling opportunities to ensure the UK workforce is equipped with the skills needed to embrace these roles.

Revealed at its annual World Tour London, an event which has a history of big announcements - like the launch of the world’s first gen-AI for CRM, Einstein GPT - came alongside a raft of other AI announcements.  

“AI has the potential to drive major growth for UK businesses – with the UK AI market predicted to reach over US$1 trillion by 2035. To realise this opportunity, industry-leading experts must work together to develop innovative solutions and overcome obstacles,” said Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO, Salesforce UKI. 

The software company also announced an expansion of its partnership with consulting company Slalom to empower joint customers to drive the value of AI across the enterprise, highlighting its drive in AI.

Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO at Salesforce UKI

Salesforce: a force in AI

Salesforce's investments and development in AI have significantly ramped up in recent years. 

In 2023, the company made notable investments in startups like Anthropic and Cohere, launched a US$250 million AI Fund, and acquired AI companies like Airkit and Spiff. By year-end, the Generative AI Fund had doubled to $500 million.

This year, Salesforce Ventures led a US$106 million funding round for Together AI, an open-source AI infrastructure startup.

The company has invested over $200 million in UK companies like ElevenLabs and AutoGenAI through its venture capital arm. 

Furthermore, Salesforce revealed new AI product innovations and announced the upcoming availability of its Data Cloud on the Hyperforce platform architecture in the UK starting in July. 

These developments highlight a sustained pattern of Salesforce aggressively pursuing AI integration across its product suite and services.

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AI investment Ecosphere

Salesforce's focus on AI aligns with the broader trend of Europe's tech ecosystem gearing up for unprecedented growth driven by AI innovation. 

According to a report by GP Bullhound, European AI companies received over €11 billion in funding last year, with 36% of new unicorns emerging from the AI/ML sector. 

The UK, in particular, stands out as the third-largest AI market globally, behind only the US and China.

UK’s position 

This decision to open the AI Center in the UK underscores industry confidence in the country’s flourishing AI economy.

Just last year, Salesforce pledged to invest US$4 billion in AI innovation and growth within the UK over the next five years, with this pledge building on that. 

The UK's AI sector has also attracted significant other AI investments, with one startup securing Europe's largest-ever AI funding of $1.05 billion for autonomous vehicle solutions this year. 

The government has also taken steps to support AI growth, such as incorporating the Office for Artificial Intelligence into the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology in February 2024.

Furthermore, cloud providers like CoreWeave are expanding their presence in the UK, announcing a £1 billion investment and the opening of its European headquarters in London, citing unprecedented demand for AI infrastructure.

An all around win on AI

By combining its internal AI development efforts with strategic investments and partnerships, Salesforce is positioning itself to drive enterprise AI adoption. 

Picking the UK as the place to open its AI CenteR highlights its belief the country can support its talent pool to administer it, provide advantages with government initiatives and influx of investments, and in exchange, get UK workers to be best placed to adopt the technology, further adding to the UK’s standing in AI. 

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