Billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates made a bold declaration in March, stating that “the Age of AI has begun.” His belief in the potential of artificial intelligence is more than just words; it’s backed by investments in groundbreaking AI ventures. One such venture, an early-stage startup backed by Gates’s private office, is launching a chatbot named Pix, set to revolutionize how people choose their entertainment. This chatbot offers personalized recommendations for books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, and it’s all set to run on OpenAI’s cutting-edge natural-language processing technology. The best part? It’s free for users.
But what sets Pix apart from the one-size-fits-all chatbots that flood the market? It’s the ability to learn and adapt to users’ preferences over time, making it a true personal agent in the world of AI. This startup plans to leverage its treasure trove of 600 million consumer data points to set its media-recommendation platform miles ahead of the competition.
Unlike the recommendation software integrated into streaming services, Pix goes beyond platform boundaries. Whether you’re texting, emailing, or asking questions through its app, Pix is ready to suggest content that suits your tastes.
Ian Morris, the CEO of Likewise, the Seattle-based content recommendation startup that gave birth to Pix, believes in the power of personal agents. “That personal agent aspect is going to be a big part of what we see people doing in the next couple of years,” Morris states. It’s a vision that promises a truly customized entertainment experience.
Bill Gates is not alone in recognizing the transformative potential of AI. Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, major tech players have joined the race to harness the capabilities of AI. Microsoft, in particular, invested billions in OpenAI, securing early access to the startup’s generative AI technology, capable of creating text and images in response to prompts.
Likewise, despite the competition, has set its sights on a bright future. However, in a market where AI tools are cropping up left and right, the challenge is not only to gain consumers’ trust but also to demonstrate that the technology works as promised.
One of the concerns in the realm of AI is the potential for chatbots to provide incorrect information, a phenomenon known as “hallucinating.” Ian Morris acknowledges that Pix might face similar challenges. “We’re going to have those same challenges, and I think that’s something that is going to be part of any of these AI services for a while,” Morris cautions. It’s a reminder that while AI offers incredible possibilities, it’s not without its pitfalls.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, left the company’s board in 2020, but his enthusiasm for AI has only grown. He has been a proponent of AI development and has been engaging with OpenAI since 2016. His endorsement of ChatGPT as it aced a college-level biology exam showcased his belief in the technology’s game-changing potential. In a blog post in March, Gates wrote, “I knew I had just seen the most important advance in technology since the graphical user interface.” His unwavering support speaks volumes about the significance of AI in our lives.
Beyond Microsoft, other tech giants like Google and Meta are racing to incorporate AI technology into their product offerings. Elon Musk, an early investor in OpenAI, even created a new startup called xAI, emphasizing the growing interest in this field. Twitter’s former chairman, Bret Taylor, is also working on an AI-related startup. Notably, Silicon Valley investor Reid Hoffman has scaled back his role at venture-capital firm Greylock to focus on AI endeavors. The Age of AI is undoubtedly upon us.
Likewise, with its Pix chatbot, aspires to be at the forefront of the AI revolution. The idea is to move beyond generic AI chatbots and create a personal agent that capitalizes on the company’s unique data set and the inferred preferences of individual users.
For instance, if you use Pix to search for horror movies on Hulu, the service will notify you when new horror movies that match your prior searches become available. In the near future, Pix will also consider the content that Likewise users have favorited in their accounts. Widespread availability and real-time data are also crucial components of this AI tool. You can query Pix via email, text, or the Likewise web, mobile, and connected TV apps.
“We believe, philosophically, that personal agents are going to be a core part of taking AI and making it a practical use case for consumers,” Morris says. The key to success, he emphasizes, lies in personalization, based on your history and the things you like, along with being proactive.
Likewise, based in Bellevue, Washington, was founded in October 2018 as the brainchild of Larry Cohen, the former Microsoft communications chief and chairman of Likewise. It has 25 employees and has been on a mission to make AI a practical and personalized tool for consumers. Bill Gates, the primary financial backer, invested $15 million in Likewise at the end of 2021. His belief in generative AI as a groundbreaking technology has propelled Pix and Likewise into the limelight.
Bill Gates’s endorsement of AI as the herald of the Age of AI is coming to fruition through startups like Likewise and their Pix chatbot. This innovative technology promises to make entertainment recommendations more personalized and engaging. However, as the AI landscape continues to evolve, challenges such as misinformation persist. The Age of AI has indeed begun, and it’s a journey filled with promises and challenges, with innovators like Likewise leading the way.