Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, made a bold prediction about the future of artificial intelligence, claiming that everyone will soon have a robot “agent” acting on their behalf.
“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,” Gates said, according to a Fortune report. “Agents are more intelligent. They’re proactive, making suggestions before you even ask for them.”
Gates’ remarks come as AI technology continues to advance rapidly, with new platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT gaining mainstream traction in the last year. While Gates admitted that “software is still pretty dumb” in 2023, he predicted that reality will “change completely” in the next five years.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur argued that virtually everyone will have a personal assistant capable of performing seemingly any task, citing the technology’s potential to plan entire vacations for its users.
“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,” he said. “If you want this kind of deeply personalised planning today, you need to pay a travel agent and spend time telling them what you want.”
The Microsoft co-founder argued that the technology will be used to make life easier by performing more complex tasks than users of current voice assistants are accustomed to.
“If your friend just had surgery, your agent will offer to send flowers and be able to order them for you,” Gates was quoted as saying. “If you tell it you’d like to catch up with your old college flatmate, it will work with their agent to find a time to get together, and just before you arrive, it will remind you that their oldest child just started college at the local university.”
While the technology Gates envisions may remind people of the widely used assistants they already have in their pockets, such as Apple’s Siri, AI assistants will be much more capable.
“Bill Gates is talking about Natural Language Processing (NLP) as the key to these improved AI assistants,” Pioneer Development Group Chief Analytics Officer Christopher Alexander told Fox News Digital. “NLP-enabled assistants differ from Siri in that NLP is a coding language.” This means that the NLP AI assistant will be far more functional because it has far greater problem-solving abilities.”
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According to Samuel Mangold-Lenett, a staff editor at The Federalist, the current assistants could be combined with AI, making them “more precise” than the systems we use today.
“Having a smartphone with a voice-activated digital assistant was considered a luxury a few years ago.” “Almost everyone in the West now has one,” Mangold-Lenett told Fox News Digital. “AI is becoming similarly accessible, with systems becoming easier and less expensive to create for programmers.” It’s reasonable to expect voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to evolve into AI systems. This is distinct in that these systems would provide more precise and specific search results based on a comprehensive analysis of a user’s data.”
Though Gates believes that the type of technology he envisions will require users to pay for it, he believes that the high level of competition in the development of such tools will help to reduce costs.
“If the number of companies that have started working on AI just this year is any indication, there will be an exceptional amount of competition, which will make agents very inexpensive,” Gates said in a statement. “At the moment, agents are embedded in other software such as word processors and spreadsheets, but they will eventually operate on their own.” Whether you work in an office or not, your agent will be able to assist you in the same way that executive personal assistants do today.”
However, how much people are willing to pay for the technology is still unknown, according to Centre for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation (CAPTRS) founder Phil Siegel.
“At home and for people not in white or grey collar jobs it really depends on the pricing; at $30 per month there is no way high take up will happen,” Siegel said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “At $5 or $10 per month, perhaps, but it could be free with advertising or promotion.” Furthermore, consumers may demand that a single application serve as their Angel, which increases the likelihood that social media and phone manufacturers will fill that role. At the office, multiple office software vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce, Workday, and others are more likely.”
Nonetheless, Gates believes that robot assistants will become more common, eventually assisting users with “virtually any activity and any area of life.”
Jon Schweppe, Policy Director of the American Principles Project, tells Fox News Digital that such a useful tool has long been one of the billionaire’s goals.
“This has been an aspiration for tech geeks like Bill Gates ever since the advent of Microsoft Bob,” Schwepee said in a statement. “Bob failed primarily because it was ineffective and annoying to the majority of users.” The hope is that AI will be able to provide a more beneficial consumer experience. The technology has the potential to be far more helpful than Siri.”