Salesforce Dreamforce 2023 Highlights – Spiceworks News and Insights

Catch OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman’s take on AI hallucinations, Salesforce’s trust-focused partnerships, integrations, and new products and services.

Dreamforce 2023, Salesforce’s flagship annual conference, concluded on Thursday. Billed as “the largest AI event of the year” by the company, the conference truly lived up to it, with more than 40,000 in-person attendees for approximately 1,500 sessions over three days. Moreover, the event served as an avenue for Salesforce to cement its commitment to artificial intelligence and its integration across its products and services.
Dreamforce 2023 concluded without any hitches, to the relief of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. After voicing his disappointment with the city’s homelessness and drug problem, Benioff couldn’t have asked for anything other than a smooth sail for his company’s flagship event.
Benioff even signaled the conference’s move from San Francisco next year, with Dreamforce 2023 as the city’s last. However, the executive took to Twitter to express his contentment with the city’s efforts in ensuring the event was a success. “It is important to ask why the city cannot be this clean and safe every single day?” Benioff asked.
San Francisco has been incredibly clean, beautiful, and safe for the last 3 days of Dreamforce, and it is great that the city is able to put its best foot forward for this major event that brings in 40K people from around the world, and $80M to the economy. It is important to ask… pic.twitter.com/tO1zsUvnjCOpens a new window
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) September 14, 2023Opens a new window
Regardless, San Francisco’s cleanliness and governance weren’t the highlight at Dreamforce 2023. AI was. During the main keynote, Salesforce announced several new AI-drive products, adding that the technological process needs to go hand in hand with trust and security.
“We think that trust is the highest priority here. We want to turn it over to you — but only with trust. We want to make sure it’s integrated. We want to make sure it’s intelligent. We want to make sure it’s automated. We want to make sure it’s low code and no code. We want to make sure it’s open,” Benioff said.
Benioff highlighted that we’re nine months into the ‘Generative’ phase of the AI revolution, which succeeds ‘Predictive’ and precedes ‘Autonomous and Agents’ and ‘Artificial General Intelligence.’
Check out the biggest announcements and other highlights from Dreamforce 2023.
Salesforce’s first big reveal centered around the trust factor in AI. Benioff said that the Einstein AI Platform is designed as a low-code platform for safe data connectivity when building AI applications.
“The AI revolution is a trust revolution. Your data is not our product,” Benioff said.
The Einstein 1 platform integrates with Slack, Tableau, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Mulesoft, Heroku, and Canvas and leverages the Salesforce Data Cloud to solve the data fragmentation problem. It relies on a metadata framework to unify data, regardless of how it is structured or where it is sourced from (for example, customer data, telemetry, etc.).
“But you’re gonna want it with trust,” Benioff added. “Not only do you want to democratize, but you want it inside the platform, and you want it to understand the metadata. Because the sharing models must still exist.”
See More: Navigating the Tech Frontier: Your Guide to September’s Top 10 Conferences
AI innovators, whom Benioff referred to as trailblazers or trAIlbrazers, have a $500 million venture capital pool to dive into. The half-a-billion fund is created for those working on the Einstein 1 platform.
While $500 million may seem like a steep budget for marketing the platform, it really isn’t. Salesforce’s track record of generating an IRR of 28% from $5 billion in previous venture capital investments suggests that and returns from $500 million would be a bonus if it gets the industry to adopt Einstein 1 platform in the short term.
Einstein Copilot is Slesforce’s generative AI conversational assistant. It relies on the Salesforce Data Cloud to engage in natural language conversations with users and deliver “trustworthy” answers.
Salesforce said it goes beyond regular, run-of-the-mill actions because of the integration of the generative AI with the services section and thus can be leveraged for various workplace needs, including automatic clause drafting, automatic account information updating, automatic email generation for clients, management of catalogs, building digital storefronts, create product descriptions, and much more.
Meanwhile, Einstein Copilot Studio enables customers to customize their Einstein Copilot implementations to drive real-time messaging.
The new toolkit incorporates three key elements prompt builder, skills builder and model builder, to build AI-based sales applications. So, while Einstein Copilot enables a seamless customer experience, Einstein Copilot Studio allows users to leverage Einstein Copilot across consumer-facing channels, including but not limited to websites, WhatsApp and other messaging apps, Slack and other productivity apps, and more.
OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman’s ChatGPT kicked off the generative AI phase of the AI revolution late last year. The AI prodigy is now at the forefront of pushing for AI regulations, which has not been seen in the technology industry (ahem, ahem, social media companies, we’re thinking of you).
Altman was one of the tech stalwarts present at the first AI Insight Forum held at the Capitol earlier this week. While the forum discussed the need for AI regulations, especially to curb the dangers of AI, one of which is hallucinations, i.e., making up false claims, here’s what Altman said at Dreamforce 2023.
Altman said, “One of the sort of non-obvious things is that a lot of value from these systems is actually related to the fact that they do hallucinate.”
Umm, what?
“If you just want to look something up in a database, we already have good stuff for that. But the fact that these AI systems can come up with new ideas and can be creative, that’s a lot of their power. You want them to be creative when you want, and that’s what we’re working on,” Altman continues.
“Intelligence is somehow an emergent property of matter to a degree that we probably don’t contemplate enough, and that it can happen with electrical signals flowing around us that are connected in certain ways. It’s something about the ability to recognize patterns and data. It’s something about the ability to hallucinate, to create, to come up with novel ideas, and to have a feedback loop to test those as we study the [AI] systems, which are easier to study than the human brain for sure. Without doing a lot of damage, there is no way we’re going to figure out what every neuron in your brain is doing. But we can look at every neuron in GPT.”
Altman went on to paint a highly thought-provoking picture of what to expect from generative AI tools and large language models (LLM) such as GPT-4, where scientific innovation is uncovered at a rate significantly faster than ever anticipated, which advances humanity like never before.
At the same time, the smartness and customizability of models shouldn’t come at the expense of user privacy. “We also want to make sure that our models are aligned and that enterprises can trust us with data, that you’re very clear about our policies around that, and that we’re keeping not only the data secure but also all of the learnings that a model has after ingesting a person’s data.”
See More: Three Building Blocks of AI-Driven Success in CX
Dreamforce 2023 saw the expansion of the CRM giant’s partnership with Google. Under the partnership, Google has become the first significant taker for Salesforce’s Einstein Copilot. On the other hand, Google also found a partner organization for Duet AI in Workspace.
Content or data generated in Gmail, Google Docs/Sheets, Meet, Calendar, and other productivity applications in Google Workspace can be used to operationalize Salesforce applications, i.e., trigger workflows and update records.
However, the relationship and integration are bidirectional, meaning Salesforce account data in its CRM can be leveraged to create content in Google — documents, slides, et al., and not only create Calendar meetings but also meeting summaries and more.
The partnership also brings Google’s Duet AI and Salesforce’s Einstein Copilot within the purview of being used across both companies’ product and service suites.
Speaking of bidirectional access, Salesforce also announced the integration of its Data Cloud with the Databricks Lakehouse Platform for data sharing. The company also integrated with Databricks rival Snowflake before Dreamforce 2023 last week.
The deeper integration allows Salesforce and Databricks users to access each other’s data within their respective platforms.
The significance of these integrations is that they eliminate the complex extract, transform and load (ETL) processes and push for Bring Your Own Lake or BYOL. This allows customers to access and leverage data housed in different platforms as a unified offering without impacting governance, security, and trust. It can also help reduce associated costs.
Adam Conway, SVP of Products at Databricks, told VentureBeat, “Data scientists and developers want to use their preferred tools and ML frameworks to build models that can drive predictions across the Salesforce platform. Databricks unifies the data and AI platform so those AI/ML teams can now build, train, and govern their AI models in Databricks and easily bring those models into Salesforce and apply them across the Customer 360 platform.”
Are Salesforce’s AI-driven product integrations and partnerships poised for high-return growth? Share your thoughts with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!
Image source: Shutterstock

Asst. Editor, Spiceworks Ziff Davis
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