Bill Gates Envisions Personal AI-Powered Assistant In 5 Years That Is ‘Far Beyond Today’s Technology’
Microsoft Corp. MSFT co-founder Bill Gates believes artificial intelligence, or AI, will completely upend the software industry and that we will all be able to have a personal AI-powered assistant in the next five years.
What Happened: Gates thinks that “software is still pretty dumb,” but that is about to change completely thanks to AI.
“You can use Microsoft Word and Google Docs to draft a business proposal, but they can’t help you send an email, share a selfie, analyze data, schedule a party, or buy movie tickets,” Gates said, adding that these kinds of tasks require human input today.
But he thinks this will “change completely,” and instead of using separate apps and services to do these everyday tasks, people will just be able to tell their device what they want to do, in “everyday language.”
“In the near future, anyone who’s online will be able to have a personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence that’s far beyond today’s technology,” he added.
Gates thinks this will be the “biggest revolution in computing since we went from typing commands to tapping on icons.”
Bots Vs. Agents
Although services like Google Docs come with AI-powered features to help you write, they still cannot do anything more complex than writing a letter or creating a sample checklist.
Gates says this is because most of the AI tools available today, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google Bard are bots, not agents. Bots are limited to one app or step in only when you specifically ask them to.
On the other hand, agents are more proactive and capable of making suggestions before you ask for them.
Bill Gates gives the example of trip planning, saying that a bot can only help you identify hotels that fit your budget.
On the other hand, an agent would be able to suggest locations based on the time of the year you will be traveling and your travel preferences.
“When asked, it will recommend things to do based on your interests and propensity for adventure, and it will book reservations at the types of restaurants you would enjoy,” Gates said, adding that this kind of deeply personalized planning requires a travel agent today.
Essentially, the crux of Gates’ prediction is we will move on from doing everything on our own today, to Iron Man’s Jarvis-like personal assistant that can do everything from planning travel to shopping, offering healthcare, education and other services.
“In short, agents will be able to help with virtually any activity and any area of life. The ramifications for the software business and for society will be profound,” Bill Gates said.