What Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and 12 other business leaders think about AI tools like ChatGPT

Artificial intelligence tools have taken the world by storm — and business leaders are noticing.

Since OpenAI's ChatGPT came out in November, the buzzy conversational chatbot has been used to generate real estate advice and provide tips on starting a business, and some workers utilize it to make their jobs easier.

Business leaders' reactions to AI products like ChatGPT have been mixed. While figures like Bill Gates think that tools like ChatGPT can free up time in workers' lives by making employees more efficient, others, like Elon Musk, believe that AI is "one of the biggest risks to the future of civilization."

From feelings of excitement to doomsday visions, here is what 14 influential figures in business think about AI.


Bill Gates thinks AI has the power to change the world.

Gates said that AI is "every bit as important as the PC, as the internet," Forbes reported. AI will be the"biggest thing in this decade," Gates said on a podcast, admitting he didn't expect the tech to evolve so quickly in the last year.

Gates said he is "excited" about ChatGPT and finds the chatbot "pretty fantastic" in its potential to teach math and offer medical advice to people with limited access to resources, per Forbes.

He said he uses ChatGPT primarily "for serious purposes" though he admits to using it for "fun things" like writing poetry.

Still, Gates said ChatGPT is "truly imperfect" and has seen it answer math questions "completely wrong."

In terms of jobs, Gates said AI can "change our world" by making work more efficient, he told the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

When asked about his thoughts on the Big Tech race to build the best AI chatbot, Gates said he is "not sure" there will be a clear winner, per the podcast.

Gates sees AI integration into search engines as a "personal agent" that studies and understands its users' behavior, he said on the podcast, eliminating the need for separate tech services.

"A decade from now, we won't think of those businesses as separate, because the AI will know you so well that when you're buying gifts or planning trips, it won't care if Amazon has the best price or if someone else has a better price — you won't even need to think about it," Gates said. "So it's a pretty dramatic potential reshuffling of how tech markets look."

Elon Musk - CEO at Twitter and cofounder of OpenAI


Elon Musk, who cofounded ChatGPT maker OpenAI before leaving the company — said at a recent conference that AI is "one of the biggest risks to the future of civilization," CNBC reported.

When asked about ChatGPT, Musk said that the tool is "both positive or negative" with "great promise" even if it comes with "great danger." Its impressive responses illustrate "just how advanced AI has become," he said.

That is why Musk said AI regulation is necessary even if it "may slow down AI a little bit," which he thinks is good.

"It is, I think, actually a bigger risk to society than cars or planes or medicine," he reportedly said during the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Musk has repeatedly sounded the alarm over the potential threat of AI.

In 2020, Musk insinuated that the Google-owned DeepMind project could take over the world. In 2018, he said AI may be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. A year before that, Musk emphasized the need for regulation as he claimed people "don't know how to react" to tech that he describes as "ethereal," the science blog Futurism reported.

Musk's current thoughts on AI came full circle starting in 2015, when Musk cofounded OpenAI with current CEO Sam Altman, saying at the time that AI was the "biggest existential threat" to humanity.