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I’ve had the chance to see some great shows over the years. And many of these occurred at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference.

Well – it’s that time of year again – give this song by Foo Fighters a listen as we see what the experts are saying this week.

Living the AI Dream(force)?

Were you at #dreamforce last week? Estimates say 40,000 attended Salesforce’s annual conference in San Francisco this year… a far cry from the 100k+ attendees they boasted pre-COVID. And Foo Fighters performed – again!

You may have seen some of Marc Benioff’s criticism of the city as well – and his warning that Dreamforce 2024 wasn’t a lock for San Francisco if the city’s unhoused and addicted population intruded on his company’s annual software festival.

And what did we learn? Yes, everything is AI. Salesforce’s Einstein product was front and centre, which is to be expected, based on the current trend in B2B and beyond.

What do these lower attendance numbers mean – are they a function of our reluctance to spend time in San Fran? Were the conference (and hotel/travel) costs too outrageous this year? Or we were caged and now we’re free… but maybe Salesforce underestimated the amount of people still unwilling to get back to in-person events.

The next few weeks will be interesting to see: how the conference’s success is assessed and perceived (by Salesforce and others), and what the future of Dreamforce might be.

Speaking of AI…

Maybe you’ve heard “Heart On My Sleeve,” the song that uses AI to mimic the vocals of artists Drake and the Weeknd. Well – there was some recent press around it, and the fact that it’s not eligible for a Grammy – but only because it’s not commercially available (after being removed from streaming services over copyright issues).

AI-generated music that took the voice of popular artists to make new songs or have them “cover” other songs gained traction on social media earlier this year. “Heart On My Sleeve,” in particular, has millions of plays on streaming services Spotify and Apple. Financial Times reported that Universal Music Group – which both Drake and the Weeknd have deals with – requested streaming services prohibit AI platforms from using streamers to study copyrighted songs.

What do you think? It’s interesting that while this song isn’t Grammy-eligible, it’s not for AI-related reasons. While many are hesitating when it comes to AI, many others have embraced it – whether in music or in B2B. But AI isn’t going anywhere! So if you’re one of those hesitating, well, now and then you might try to bend. With the right AI monkey wrench, it might be better than you expect!

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello!

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat