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Salesforce Dreamforce 2023: CEO Says Other AI Vendors Use ‘Your Data To Make Money’

Wade Tyler Millward

‘These LLMs are hungry for our data,’ Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says.

Salesforce CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff made a series of bold accusations in setting up his company as the most trustworthy vendor of enterprise-grade generative artificial intelligence products and services, alleging that other GenAI vendors use customer data for model training and accept incorrect answer generation.

Benioff accused other, unnamed GenAI vendors of stealing some of the training data for their large language models (LLMS) and wanting customer data for their own benefit. Microsoft, Amazon and Google are considered some of the largest AI vendors.

“These LLMs are hungry for our data,” Benioff said Tuesday during the San Francisco-based customer data platform (CDP) vendor’s annual Dreamforce event. “It’s how they get smarter. The LLM companies are just algorithm companies. They only work when they have data. And the data that they get, mostly they stole it. Or they just go out onto the net and get whatever data they can get.”

[RELATED: Salesforce CEO: We Are ‘Transforming From Being Not Only The No. 1 CRM, But To The No. 1 AI CRM’]

Salesforce AI At Dreamforce 2023

Benioff continued: “And the next set of data they want is your data. The corporate data. That will make them even smarter.”

The CEO also warned attendees against trusting vendors with business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses who see customer data as a revenue-generating opportunity.

“For a lot of companies that you’re dealing with, and for a lot of companies that you’re partnering with, and a lot of companies that you’re looking at or that you work with – especially on the B2C (business-to-consumer) side and on the consumer side – you know how they operate,” he said.. “I don’t have to tell you. I do not have to explain to anybody here – it is a well known secret at this point – of that. They’re using your data to make money. That is not what we do at Salesforce. Your data isn’t our product. You control access to your data.”

CRN has reached out to Salesforce for further comment on Benioff’s remarks.

Dreamforce runs through Thursday in San Francisco.

Benioff also attacked the phenomenon of AI hallucinations – that is, AI models generating incorrect information as if it was correct.

“They call them hallucinations. I call them lies,” he said. “These LLMs are very convincing liars. They really are.”

Despite his railing against the dark side of GenAI, Benioff also touted the benefits of the technology and even announced new offerings in the area from Salesforce itself, including the Einstein 1 Platform, which promises safe connection of any data to build AI-powered application

“We want to build the trusted AI platform for customer companies so that everyone is an Einstein and more productive,” Benioff said. “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. … This is our life’s work. This is what we’ve been doing for 25 years.”

Here’s more of what Benioff had to say at Dreamforce 2023.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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