Dreamforce 2017: 10 highlights from days two and three

 

We can’t believe Dreamforce 2017 is nearly over! The past three days have been a whirlwind of inspiration, learning and lots of fun. Here’s a round-up of all the excitement from days two and three, when the themes of intelligence, innovation and equality dominated.

1. AI took centre stage

On day two, AI took the centre of quite a few stages. At the Salesforce Einstein: Blaze New Trails with AI keynote, new Einstein-powered features that allow companies to create intelligent experiences were explored.

More was revealed about myEinstein, which enables developers of all skill levels to build and customise AI apps using clicks, not code. MyEinstein was first announced on day one of Dreamforce during Marc Benioff’s opening keynote.

Later, at the Future of AI Expert Panel, AI experts Suchi Saria, Richard Socher and Peter Norvig discussed the state of AI and how it’s transforming the future of business (Richard Socher touched on the topic earlier this year right here). The panel explained how AI has become good at taking hard tasks and figuring out a sequence of moves to achieve a goal, and how that’s applicable to businesses.

As Norvig summed up, “In order to deploy AI, you need to have a mindset that data is valuable, and that [you] want to do something with it.”

2. AI needs to be taught to speak to humans, not vice versa

Tech start-up i.am+ introduced a new platform that is ushering in the next evolution of voice and computer interaction. CEO of i.am+, will.i.am – yes, that will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas – introduced Omega, a new AI-based digital assistant designed to power customer service chatbots. Omega aims to deliver both natural and engaging user experiences for enterprise companies.

3. Technology is reshaping the business world

During the Fortune CEO series, Pattie Sellers (Executive Director of Fortune MPW Summits and Live Content, Time Inc.) asked four CEOs of disruptive start-ups how they’re leveraging the latest technology to fuel rapid growth and reshape the business landscape. Their experiences and observations were insightful.

4. Dreampitch: Back by popular demand

Dreampitch 2017 saw a new set of innovative start-ups – all built on the Salesforce platform – pitching their vision to a panel of all-star judges: Chris Sacca, Shahrzad Rafati, will.i.am and Guy Oseary.

Retrolux, Loop & Tie and Meta SaaS pitched to take home the US$250,000 investment from Salesforce Ventures – Loop & Tie triumphed.

5. A rocking Dreamfest

Day two was topped off by an unforgettable night at Dreamfest. The stars shone bright in AT&T Park, as our Dreamforce Trailblazers enjoyed performances from Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – all benefitting UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

6. Taraji P. Henson talks waking up every morning ready for a fight

Day three kicked off with award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson sharing her story as part of the Equality Summit. In a moving and incredibly funny discussion with US journalist Michele Norris, Taraji spoke of fighting Hollywood’s expectations, where she finds strength and guidance, and what frustrates her about labels and stereotypes.

7. The future of work with Ginni Rometty and Marc Benioff

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the way we live. Everything and everyone is getting smarter and more connected every day, and we’re seeing this transformation in the way we work. Marc Benioff and IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty discussed the topic of transformation, its effect on workers, and the responsibilities tech leaders and companies have in this new era.

"For those of us that make technology, it is our job to make sure it is ushered into the world the right way," Ginni said.

8. Natalie Portman: “We need a ‘boss school’ for girls”

Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman shared her views on why more women need to be empowered to speak up, and how we can foster that spirit in younger girls and women.

“We need a ‘boss school’ for girls. It’s important to know how to ask someone to do something in an unapologetic way,” she said.

9. Lots of Salesforce product announcements

Attendees were abuzz with all the surprises and innovations shared in product keynotes, such as:

  • Sales Cloud showed how to put out fires before they even start with Einstein Predictive Forecasting.

  • Platform announced that after 10 years the Force.com brand is changing to Lightning Platform.

  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud unveiled an Instagram shopping integration, where brands can tag products in their posts with product information, creating shoppable content.

  • Quip announced new live apps that speed-up collaboration and productivity.

10. Equality Summit keynote: Art and activism

Art and activism has always gone hand-in-hand. Regardless of the medium, artists have long been surfacing underrepresented social issues, sending messages of anger, despair, hope and change, as well as making bold statements that grab attention.

As part of the Equality Summit, Dreamforce attendees heard about the process and emotion that goes into creating these works, as well as how everyone can become an activist.

All that, and it’s not even over! Keep an eye out for our full wrap of the best four days of the year once it’s all over.

If you missed any of the keynotes or just want to watch them again, relive the best of Dreamforce 2017 by heading to Salesforce LIVE for coverage of the world’s largest tech conference or check out some of our local events coming up in the APAC region.