Entrepreneurs

Billionaire tech investor: There will be a Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates of A.I.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, worth more than $85 billion, is one of the richest men alive, according to Forbes. He was a pioneer in the software industry.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg became one of the most iconic tech entrepreneurs in the world for his innovations in social media. He's now worth more than $68 billion.

Both tech titans have changed the course of history.

Soon there will be a Mark Zuckerberg and a Bill Gates of artificial intelligence, says multibillionaire tech investor Jim Breyer. Breyer is the founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, a venture capital firm based in the heart of Silicon Valley. He made much of his wealth as an early investor in tech companies like Facebook and Etsy.

Jim Breyer speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jim Breyer speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

"I don't know if we know who the next Mark Zuckerberg is in terms of artificial intelligence, but there will be another Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates," says Breyer, speaking at the Delivering Alpha conference in New York City, presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

There will be "a type of individual or set of individuals that understand that the self-learning capabilities applied to healthcare and finance will look extraordinary over the next decade, because it is so different and fundamental," Breyer says.

First generation computing power involves executing an assigned series of tasks, an algorithm, over and over again. Artificial intelligence, by comparison, allows algorithms to "modify themselves in real time as the data are presented to them and get better and better at what they do," explains Tom Siebel, the former chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems, also at the Delivering Alpha conference. Siebel Systems was a software company that was acquired by Oracle in 2005.

As the future stars of AI build new companies with this new technology, they will create tremendous value for investors, says Breyer.

"I think opportunities from an investment standpoint will be five to 10 [times] — in terms of market cap around AI — what social [media] currently is," Breyer says. He says "for sure" the market capitalization will be that much bigger than Facebook, Twitter, Snap and the like. "Take a decade, go a decade forward. But absolutely positively." Currently, Facebook, the largest of the bunch, on its own has a market cap of almost $480 billion.

"I expect Facebook and Apple and Amazon, Baidu, Tencent, to continue to do extraordinarily well, but there is room for a new generation of company that is applying AI and self-learning algorithms in healthcare and finance and energy that will generate billions of market cap."

Breyer is not alone in his prediction that AI-powered companies will create tremendous amounts of value. The billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban says AI entrepreneurs will create a new level of wealth.

"I am telling you, the world's first trillionaires are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of," Cuban said in March at SXSW.

See also:

Mark Cuban: The world's first trillionaire will be an artificial intelligence entrepreneur

Elon Musk: 'Robots will be able to do everything better than us'

By 2050, A.I. will have the same ability to learn as humans, says billionaire tech investor