Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reacts during a visit with Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the Imperial College University, in London, Britain, February 15, 2023.
Justin Tallis | Pool | Reuters
co-founder Bill Gates believes the future top company in artificial intelligence will likely have created a personal digital agent that can perform certain tasks for people.
related investing news
The technology will be so profound, it could radically alter user behaviors. “Whoever wins the personal agent, that’s the big thing, because you will never go to a search site again, you will never go to a productivity site, you’ll never go to again,” he said.
This yet-to-be developed AI assistant will be able to understand a person’s needs and habits and will help them “read the stuff you don’t have time to read,” Gates said Monday during a Goldman Sachs and SV Angel event in San Francisco on the topic of artificial intelligence.
Gates said there is a 50-50 chance that this future AI winner will be either a startup or a tech giant.
“I’d be disappointed if Microsoft didn’t come in there,” Gates said. “But I’m impressed with a couple of startups, including Inflection,” he added referring to Inflection.AI, co-founded by former DeepMind executive Mustafa Suleyman.
It will take some time until this powerful future digital agent is ready for mainstream use, Gates said. Until then, companies will continue embedding so-called generative AI technologies akin to OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT into their own products.
Gates also discussed health efforts related to his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, saying AI will accelerate innovations in the space and lead to more advanced drug development.
Although the inner workings of the human brain is still a mystery to scientists, the Microsoft co-founder believes that humanity is getting close to creating helpful drugs to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s, with human trials for the new drugs possibly taking place in 10 years.
He also likened the rise of generative AI technologies that can produce compelling text as a game-changer that will affect white-collar workers. Gates added that he believes that future humanoid robots that are cheaper for companies to use than human employees will greatly impact blue-collar workers, too.
“As we invent these robots, we just need to make sure they don’t get Alzheimer’s,” Gates said in jest.