Just a few days after OpenAI announced its “baby steps” towards AI agents with its Assistants API, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted that personal AI agents will be a “shock wave” in the tech sector and society in a blog post published yesterday. The post discussed how personal AI agents will completely change how people use computers.
Anyone with an internet connection will soon be able to have a personal assistant with artificial intelligence capabilities far beyond what is available today,” he wrote. Almost any activity or aspect of life will be assisted by agents. There will be significant effects on society and the software industry.
Bill Gates already has skin in the personal AI game
During an AI event hosted by SV Angel and Goldman Sachs in May, Bill Gates stated that the first company to create a personal agent that disrupts SEO will have an advantage over its competitors. Gates does not disclose that he already has a significant stake in the outcome of his own AI.
Whoever wins the personal AI, that’s the important thing, he said, because you will never again visit an Amazon page, a productivity site, or a search engine.
In June, Gates invested in Inflection AI alongside Nvidia, Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, and Eric Schmidt as part of a staggering $1.3 billion funding round.
At an event in San Francisco, Bill Gates made reference to Inflection and stated that he was “impressed with a couple of startups, including Inflection.” He also stated that it was 50/50 who would win the AI competition for the digital agent.
Gates has been thinking about agents for nearly 30 years
Pi, which stands for “personal intelligence” and is intended to be “empathetic, useful, and safe,” was just released by Inflection AI at the time. It acts more casually and personally than OpenAI’s GPT-4, Microsoft’s Bing, or Google’s Bard without delving too far into the super-creepy.
Even though a chatbot such as Pi is still far from the kind of personal AI agent that Bill Gates envisions, and it’s unclear what additional investments he has planned in the field, it’s clear that he wants to board the AI agent train as soon as it leaves the station. In fact, Gates stated in the post that although he has been considering agents for almost 30 years and discussed them in 1995 book The Road Ahead, they have only lately become feasible due to developments in artificial intelligence.
AI Agents will now alter more than just how people use computers, he continued. In addition, they will completely transform the software market and usher in the greatest revolution in computing since the switch from typing commands to tapping icons.
In a recent blog post, Gates talked about privacy concerns and the technical difficulties with agents. However, “agents are coming,” he declared. He came to the conclusion that the next few years will completely alter our way of living, both online and offline.