Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful technology that has yet to be incorporated into search engines. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has stated that the successful developer of a personal AI assistant will win the AI race and eliminate the need for search engines. The AI assistant will be capable of anticipating its human’s needs and performing tasks such as reading. While Gates believes that we are a long way from seeing this digital super assistant in regular use, smaller tech startup Inflection is working towards creating the AI assistant that Gates envisions. Inflection CEO Mustafa Suleyman wrote, “We don’t have all the answers, but we are setting out to develop a personal intelligence that really does work for you.”
According to Gates, the winner of the AI race has a 50/50 chance of being a tech startup or a leading tech giant. Gates said, “I’d be disappointed if Microsoft didn’t come in there…But I’m impressed with a couple of startups, including Inflection.” Gates envisions a personal AI companion whose “single mission” is to make the user “happier, healthier and more productive.” The AI would help the user articulate their intentions, organize their life, and be present when needed.
Gates also spoke about the potential health innovations of AI, stating that it could lead to drugs that can cure Alzheimer’s and similar diseases. However, he also acknowledged the potential job loss posed by AI-powered robots, as the innovation will be much cheaper to use than humans. During a Senate hearing on AI oversight, AI expert Professor Gary Marcus testified about the enormous risk to jobs presented by this technology. He said, “I think in the long run, artificial general intelligence really will replace a large fraction of human jobs.”
While AI has been part of internet search for a long time, it has yet to be incorporated into search engines in a generative form. Gates believes that a personal digital assistant created using AI technology will eliminate the need for search engines entirely. This has led smaller tech startup Inflection to work towards creating an AI assistant that can anticipate their user’s needs and perform tasks they don’t have time for, including reading.
The potential innovations of AI also extend to the health industry, with Gates stating that while AI could lead to curing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, it could also lead to job loss as AI-powered robots will be much cheaper to use than humans. AI expert Professor Gary Marcus has warned that artificial general intelligence will replace a significant fraction of human jobs in the long run.