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Yesterday in a blog post about how personal AI agents will completely change the way people use computers – just days after OpenAI announced its “baby steps” towards agents with its Assistants API – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said personal AI agents will be a “shock wave” through the tech industry and society.

“In the near future, everyone online will be able to have a personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence far beyond current technology,” he wrote. “Agents will be able to assist in virtually any activity and any area of ​​life. The consequences for the software industry and for society will be profound.

Bill Gates already has skin in the personal AI game

What Gates doesn’t mention in his article is that he already has serious experience in the personal AI game: in an interview with Bill Gates last May at a Goldman Sachs and SV Angel event on AI, Bill Gates said the first company to develop a personal agent to disrupt SEO would have a “head start on the competition.”

“Whoever wins the personal agent contract, that’s the biggest thing, because you’ll never go to a search site again, you’ll never go to a productivity site again, you’ll never go to Amazon,” he said.

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By June, Gates – along with Nvidia, Microsoft, Reid Hoffman and Eric Schmidt – had invested in Inflection AI as part of a staggering $1.3 billion funding round.

Gates had mentioned Inflection at an event in San Francisco, saying that “it’s 50-50 as to whether the winner of the AI ​​behind the digital agent will come from Big Tech or the startup world,” adding that he was “impressed by a few startups, including inflection.

Gates has been thinking about agents for almost 30 years

At the time, Inflection AI had just launched Pi, which stands for “personal intelligence” and is intended to be “empathetic, helpful, and safe,” meaning it acts in a more personal and familiar way than GPT- 4 from OpenAI, Bing from Microsoft or Bard from Google. , without turning super-scary.

Even though a chatbot like Pi is still a long way from the kind of personal AI agent Bill Gates imagines – and it’s unclear what other investments he plans in the space – he obviously wants to be on the AI ​​agent bandwagon. AI from the start. the train station. In fact, Gates said in his article that he had “been thinking about agents for almost 30 years and wrote about them in my 1995 book.” The road aheadbut they have only recently become practical thanks to advances in AI.

Now, he added, “agents aren’t just going to change the way everyone interacts with computers. They will also shake up the software industry, sparking the biggest computing revolution since we moved from typing commands to tapping icons.

In his new blog post, Gates discussed technical challenges for agents, as well as privacy concerns. But, he said, “the agents are coming.” In the coming years, he concluded, “they will completely change the way we live our lives, online and offline.”

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