Bill Gates says AI is ‘pretty stupid’ now, but predicts everyone will have robot ‘agents’ within 5 years

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had a bold prediction about the future of artificial intelligence, arguing that everyone will soon have a robot “agent” working on their behalf.

“Soon, anyone online will be able to have a personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence that is far beyond today’s technology,” Gates said, according to a report in Fortune. “Agents are smarter. They are proactive – able to make recommendations before you ask for them.”

Gates’ comments come as AI technology continues to develop rapidly, with new platforms such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT gaining popularity over the past year. Although Gates acknowledged that the “software is still very stupid” as of 2023, that reality will “completely change” within the next five years.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur argued that everyone would have a personal assistant capable of completing any task, citing the technology’s ability to plan an entire vacation for its users.

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Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (Justin Tallis – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“When asked, it will recommend things to do based on your interests and propensity for adventure, and book reservations at the types of restaurants you’d enjoy,” Gates said. “If you want that kind of deeply personal design today, you have to pay a travel agent and spend time telling them what you want.”

The co-founder of Microsoft argued that the technology will have wide-ranging uses to make life easier, by performing more complex tasks than current voice assistants are used to.

“If your friend just had surgery, your agent will offer to send flowers and be able to order them,” Gates said. “If you say you want to get hold of the your old college roommate, he’ll work with their agent to find a time to get together, and just before you arrive, he’ll remind you that their oldest child just started college at the university local.”

Although the technology Gates envisions may make people think of the comprehensive assistants that many currently have in their pockets, such as Apple’s Siri, AI assistants will be capable of much more.

“Bill Gates is talking about Natural Language Processing (NLP) as the key to these improved AI assistants,” Christopher Alexander, Chief Analytics Officer at Pioneer Development Group, told Fox News Digital. NLP capability differs from Siri because NLP is a coding language. This means that the NLP AI assistant will have much greater functionality because it has much greater problem-solving capabilities.”

chatGPT icon, ASK AI icon viewable on smartphone

Microsoft Bing and ChatGPT AI chat applications can be viewed on a mobile device. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Samuel Mangold-Lenett, staff editor at The Federalist, believes that the assistants people use today could be combined with AI, making them “more precise” than the systems we use today.

“A couple of years ago, a smartphone with a digital voice assistant was considered a luxury. Now, almost everyone in the West has one,” Mangold-Lenett told Fox News Digital. “AI is becoming just as accessible and with systems becoming easier and cheaper to deploy -to produce programming. It is reasonable to think that voice assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, will become AI systems. This would be different because these systems would provide more precision and specificity. research results based on comprehensive analysis of user data.”

Although Gates believes that the kind of technology he sees will be something that consumers will have to pay for, he said that the increased level of competition that is flowing in will help to improve such devices by reducing costs.

“If the number of companies that have started working on AI just this year is any indication, there will be a lot of competition, which will make agents very cheap,” Gates said. “Today, agents are embedded in other software such as word processors and spreadsheets, but eventually they will work independently. Whether you work in an office or not, your agent will be able to help you in the same way that the personal assistants will support you.” executives today.”

But the question remains how much people will be willing to pay for the technology, said Phil Siegel, founder of the Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation (CAPTRS).

Bill Gates at the top of the White House

In this image from the video, Bill Gates speaks at the White House Climate Leaders Summit. (AP)


“At home and for people who are not in white or gray collar jobs it depends a lot on the price; at $30 a month there’s no way it’s acceptable,” Siegel told Fox News Digital. “At $5 or $10 a month maybe, but maybe it has to be free with advertising or advertising. And users can claim to be the Angel in one application, which gives better opportunities for social media and phone makers to play that role. At the office, it’s more likely to be office software makers like Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce, Workday and others.”

Nevertheless, Gates believes that the use of robot assistants will be widespread, eventually helping their users with “almost any activity and any area of ​​life.”

Jon Schweppe, Policy Director of the American Principles Project, is not surprised by the hope, telling Fox News Digital that such a useful tool has been one of the goals of the billionaire for a long time.

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“This has been an aspiration for tech geeks like Bill Gates ever since Microsoft’s Bob,” Schwepee said. “Bob failed largely because he wasn’t very helpful, and most of users find it annoying. We hope that AI will be able to provide a more beneficial user experience. The technology is definitely capable of being much more helpful than Siri.”

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