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Bill Gates believes AI could put Amazon, Google and Shopify in big trouble

Bill Gates believes AI could put Amazon, Google and Shopify in big trouble


Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has some knowledge of technology. The entrepreneur is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, which he reportedly founded in his home garage. Microsoft is now the second most valuable company in the world with a market capitalization of $2.38 trillion. So when Bill Gates talks about technology, investors tend to listen.

At the Goldman Sachsand SV Angel AI Forward 2023 event, Gates said the race to develop the best AI-powered digital assistants, or personal agents, as he calls them, has begun. Technology has a dramatic impact on the future. In fact, if Gates is correct, it could be a big problem for Amazon (AMZN 2.93%), Shopify (SHOP 1.09%), Alphabet (GOOG 0.76%) (GOOGL 0.74%) and others.

Given Gates’ tech pedigree, should investors run out of stakes in these tech giants and sell them? not so soon

Image Source: Getty Images.

Changing the face of technology as we know it

Recent advances in the AI ​​space are compelling, as evidenced by next-generation chatbots such as ChatGPT, the brainchild of tech startup OpenAI. While challenges remain, this technology marks the next big advance in conversational and generative AI. The ability of these AI models to have human-like conversations, answer complex questions, and summarize complex data has surprised many.

Digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri have been around for years, but the progress ChatGPT showed, while still flawed, is light years ahead of its predecessor. I was.

Gates believes that the company that develops the first truly revolutionary personal agent will change the course of human development, disrupt existing technology, and change human behavior in the process.

As AI continues to accelerate and create tools that can understand human wants and needs, it will be deep enough to cause fundamental changes in behavior. “Whoever gets a private agent, that’s a big deal because you’re never going to a search site, you’re never going to a productivity site, you’re never going to Amazon,” Gates said.

Of course, such tools have not yet been developed. And while it will be a while before it is ready for mainstream use, recent advances in AI are bringing us one step closer. Gates suggested that such a personal agent could understand an individual’s habits and help them, for example, “read what they don’t have time to read.”

When asked who would develop this disruptive technology, Gates said it was a 50/50 chance it would be an incumbent tech giant or a start-up. He continued, “I would be disappointed if Microsoft wasn’t there. But I’m impressed with some startups, including Inflection.” This was a reference to Inflection.AI, a machine learning startup co-founded by former DeepMind executive Mustafa Suleyman and his LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

not everyone agrees

While these latest AI models are making progress, not everyone agrees that they still have a long way to go and the future is imminent. “Performance should not be mistaken for confidence,” said Rodney Brooks, a renowned roboticist and AI expert.

Brooks would know. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, a former Professor of Robotics and Director of MIT’s Computer He Sciences and his AI Laboratory. When discussing the state of large-scale language models (LLMs) behind evolving chatbot technology, he said, “When you really look into it, it doesn’t have the logical reasoning it seemed to have. I understand,” he said.

In working with LLMs, he noted that while these chatbots appear confident, they can be very wrong, adding: .. It is not the same as intelligence. It’s not the same as dialogue. It’s about looking into it. “

This, in a nutshell, explains the current limitations of these next generation chatbots. They’re very good at finding data, but they don’t have the logic to discern whether the information they’re conveying is meaningful.

For investors with stakes in Amazon, Shopify and Alphabet, considering the limitations of this technology in honor of Bill Gates, there’s no need to rush to hit the sell button — at least not right now.

John McKee, former CEO of Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods Market, is a member of the Motley Fool’s board of directors. Alphabet executive Suzanne Fry is a member of the Motley Fool’s board of directors. Danny Vena has held positions at Alphabet,, Apple, Microsoft and Shopify. The Motley Fool has positions in and endorses Alphabet,, Apple, Goldman Sachs Group, Microsoft and Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.




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