Good morning! This is Michal Lev-Ram, reporting from San Francisco.
Earlier this week, I attended an A.I.-focused event hosted by Goldman Sachs and SV Angels, Ron Conway’s early-stage investment firm. (Yes, we’re sticking with the generative A.I. theme here at CEO Daily.) The opening speaker was none other than Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder and former CEO. Gates was interviewed by another CEO, Stripe’s Patrick Collison, who seemed to relish the opportunity to ask Bill Gates pretty much everything he’s ever wanted to ask Bill Gates. While the conversation veered away from A.I. quite a few times—at one point, Collison asked Gates what most inspires him “aesthetically”—there were a few interesting insights sprinkled throughout the interview.
For example, Gates said health and education are the two domains outside of tech that are most likely to be “revolutionized” by A.I. over the next few years. And he said there was room for multiple companies and multiple A.I. engines to dominate the generative A.I. market, but that one player will likely conquer at least one key area.
“There will be one company that creates the personal agent that understands all of your activities…” Gates said, referring to the decades-old promise of a truly all-knowing A.I. assistant. “Whoever wins the personal agent, that will be a big thing because you’ll never go to a search site again. You’ll never go to a productivity tool again. You’ll never go to Amazon again. Everything will be mediated through your agent.”
So is Gates foreseeing a future in which the current tech giants are replaced by new ones? Not necessarily. When Collison asked who will create the dominant personal agent, Gates had this to say: “I’d be disappointed if Microsoft didn’t come in there, but I’m very impressed with a couple of startups in the space…”
Speaking of startups, here’s another nugget from the conversation: After Gates brought up Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison, the former CEOs of Apple and Oracle, respectively, Collison asked if Gates thought today’s CEOs are as “tough” as those of the earlier tech era—Microsoft included. (Jobs, Ellison, and Gates were notoriously hard on their employees and on their competition.) Gates’ response? In today’s world in which tech CEOs have to meet with government officials on a regular basis, “they know not to show it.”
More news below.
Apple will buy more components in the U.S. through a multibillion dollar deal with chipmaker Broadcom. The iPhone maker will purchase 5G components made in Colorado and elsewhere in the U.S. Apple CEO Tim Cook called the agreement proof of the company’s “unshakeable belief in America’s future.” The Wall Street Journal
Big Health gets bigger
Fortune sat down with CVS CEO Karen Lynch as the health care sector emerges from a wave of mergers, like CVS’s purchase of primary care provider Oak Street Health. Lynch argues that what’s good for her company’s profits will be good for American patients, and says her “personal passion is, ‘How do we improve the health care system?’” Yet critics argue that consolidation in the industry results in higher prices and worse care.
Pride month backlash
Target announced Tuesday that it will stop selling some Pride Month-themed merchandise from its stores after some customers confronted employees and threw LGBT-themed items on the floor. The retailer said it was removing items “that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.” The move follows conservative backlash against Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light, which featured transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in its promotion. Reuters
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Google’s Sundar Pichai are now begging governments to regulate the A.I. forces they’ve unleashed by Prarthana Prakash
‘Take action and protect our kids’: U.S. Surgeon General warns of social media risks by David Meyer
‘Turbulence ahead’: Nearly 4 in 10 Americans lack enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense, Fed survey shows by Will Daniel
‘Greedflation’ takes a turn: Republicans’ hatred of Joe Biden’s economy makes them easy prey for ‘profit-led inflation episodes,’ UBS chief economist says by Tristan Bove
Ford CEO Jim Farley promises a new long-range electric SUV so quick he calls it a ‘personal bullet train’ by Christiaan Hetzner
Puerto Rico is becoming the new Florida for the ultrawealthy and remote workers by Chloe Berger
This edition of CEO Daily was curated by Nicholas Gordon.
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