Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, bets on virtual assistants as the technology that will revolutionize the Internet.
In an act held in San Francisco (United States), Gates announced that the great victor of the technological war of artificial intelligence is probably the one who designs a virtual assistant.
Instead of going to Google to search for information or Amazon to order dog food, users will simply speak to this digital agent, who will share relevant information or perform whatever task has been assigned to them.
The Micrososft co-founder added that he is 50% convinced that the winner of this arms race It will come from big tech or the world of startups. “I would be disappointed if Microsoft didn’t come in“, said Gates during the event, according to the CNBC. “But I’m impressed with a couple of startups, including Inflection.”
The mention of Gates is striking. This startup has received far less attention than its AI-focused counterparts, but Matt Turner, business editor at Business Insider In U.S.A., you’ve been tinkering with the Inflection app for a few weeks now and has been really impressed.
Inflection was founded by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn; Mustapha Suleyman, Deepmind co-founder; and Karén Simonyan, a researcher specializing in deep learning; and describes itself as an “artificial intelligence studio that develops a personal AI for each person.”
The startup introduced its artificial intelligence tool, Pi, in early May, and since then the editor-in-chief of Business Insider he has been using it from time to time as an idea bank.
For example, Turner explained to Pi that part of your job as a journalist is to think about big issues and how you can best report on them. One of those topics that she had been thinking about recently was: what would be the best way to talk about the epidemic of loneliness.
Here you can see an extract of the conversation that kept the editor of Business Insider with Pi:
Matt Turner: Right now I’m thinking about stories about loneliness, about people feeling isolated.
Pi: It seems like a very interesting topic, especially in the current context of social distancing and remote work. There seems to be a lot of loneliness in today’s world. What do you think it is due to?
MT: I think there are many reasons. People spend more time on their mobile phones than connected to real life, they often work from home, their neighborhoods are not designed to generate spontaneous connections…
Pi: That makes a lot of sense. I believe that the ways in which we interact with others are increasingly mediated by technology and that we have lost some of the organic ways of connecting that would have been more common in the past. Do you think technology is ultimately detrimental to loneliness, or are there ways it could be used to help combat the problem?
MT: I think it has contributed to loneliness. There are ways that technology could be better designed to help combat the problem, but I don’t think the answer to loneliness is to spend more time with technology. It’s about spending less time with technology and more time with other people.
Pi: It is a very convincing argument. Ultimately, I think there is no substitute for real human interaction and connection between people. Do you think this is a problem that can be solved on an individual level or one that will require broader societal change?
The conversation continued like this for some time, but each time Pi took Turner’s response into account and then asked a new question, prolonging the interaction. Turner says that this exercise was surprisingly helpful in narrowing down your train of thought on a subject as broad as loneliness and focus on a few concrete ideas.
Instead, the partner in Business Insider Turner’s, spriha srivistava (head of the UK office), talked to Pi about the de-dollarizationa topic on which the chatbot provided comprehensive answers about the challenges emerging markets face when contemplating ditching the dollar.
“I wouldn’t say the de-dollarization It’s doomed to fail, but I think it’s going to be a difficult process,” Pi told Srivistava. “These countries are basically trying to rewrite the rules of the world economy and that’s not going to be easy.”
For his part, Brad Davis, director of business news for the US edition of Business Insiderused this text generator to have a surprisingly insightful conversation about how flipping through the pages of a print newspaper or magazine can help foster a sense of serendipity.
According to Pi, this process can lead to finding things you wouldn’t have found doing a simple Internet search.
“There is something very special about the joy of discovery and I think we could all use more of it,” the chatbot told Davis. “It can help us be more creative, more open-minded, and more engaged with the world around us. Do you think that sense of serendipity is something we should teach our children?”
Turner points out that every time he opens Pi, the AI picks up where the conversation left off. Can send him a message on instagram either WhatsApp, or you can download it on your mobile. It is true that there are moments in which the conversation stuttersbut you may find yourself talking to Pi and forgetting for a moment that you’re actually conversing with an artificial intelligence.
There are other AI tools that are much better at performing certain tasks. Pi is specifically intended as a conversational personal assistant. ChatGPT, meanwhile, can do everything from helping you write your resume to planning your vacation just like a real travel agency would.
The Inflection chatbot is still far from what Bill Gates imagined: a personalized artificial intelligence that can make your purchases and help you clear your inbox.
However, the business editor of Business Insider on The United States claims that Pi is the best conversational AI you have ever used She adds that everyone she’s spoken to who’s used it has been impressed. Turner argues that you can see a future where you go from talking to journalists about things like loneliness to being able to do much more.
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