This week, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he sees the end of Google Search, Amazon and Shopify if artificial intelligence continues to evolve at its current pace. According to Quartz, Gates believes these tools will soon be outdated, as AI is already changing economies. Essentially, Quartz poses the question: “If AI understands what you want, why waste time visiting a search engine or shopping on Amazon?”
Donna Hoffman, professor of marketing, is the co-director of the Center for the Connected Consumer at the George Washington University School of Business. Her current research is focused on using conceptual, empirical and computational approaches to understand consumer experience with AI and the impacts of consumer perceptions of AI. She currently teaches coursework on how AI is revolutionizing the marketing practice, diving into the practical understanding of AI and how AI can be applied to productive and ethical end in marketing.
“I think Gates’ remarks are a bit premature. It’s more likely that Google and Amazon will incorporate AI so that the act of searching or shopping will be fundamentally transformed. Maybe we’ll have AI personal assistants in the future, but we’re a bit of a ways from that. And, Google and Amazon aren’t just going to sit around and wait for someone to eat their lunch,” Hoffman says. “I think right now we’re where the early internet was. Most people have no idea what is coming. Even though ChatGPT is extremely popular, most people haven’t used it and have no idea what it can do now or potentially do as it evolves.”