Buffett Watch

Bill Gates: AI not a threat; it could be your new assistant

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The risk of artificial intelligence software becoming super smart is "way out in the future," Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told CNBC Monday.

In the next 10 to 20 years, AI is going to be "extremely helpful" in managing our lives, Gates said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

Instead of being glued to your computer or smartphone all day trying to keep up with emails, texts and all the other information flooding in, Gates said what he called "alter-ego software" is going to shoulder that burden.

"It will look at all the new information and present to you, knowing about your interests, what would be most valuable," he predicted, saying Microsoft along with the Google unit Alphabet, Facebook and Apple are making great strides in artificial intelligence.

"What we're [also] seeing is, for the first time, computers can see as well as humans. If you combine that with arm-like manipulation, then they could make us far more productive," Gates said, but acknowledged the job market will need to adjust to more machines doing rote work.

Gates, a Berkshire Hathaway board member, appeared on "Squawk Box" Monday from Omaha, Nebraska, with Berkshire Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, who hosted the company's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.