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Brad Gerstner says AI will be bigger than the internet, bigger than mobile

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Brad Gerstner, Altimeter Founder & CEO, speaking at the Delivering Alpha conference in NYC on Sept. 28th, 2023.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Altimeter Capital Chair and CEO Brad Gerstner is massively bullish on artificial intelligence, saying the power of the advanced technology could even trump the internet.

“AI is going to be bigger than the internet, bigger than mobile and bigger than cloud software,” Gerstner said at CNBC Delivering Alpha Investor Summit Thursday in New York City.

AI has been dominating headlines this year, creating a buying frenzy on Wall Street that pushed major enabler Nvidia over a $1 trillion market cap. Buzzy chatbot ChatGPT, capable of taking written inputs from users and producing a human-like response, was an instant phenomenon globally, becoming the fastest-growing software in history.

The widely followed tech investor called the rise of AI a “super-cycle” just like the dotcom boom in the late 1990s. But he cautioned that a typical characteristic of a super-cycle is conflicting sentiments and uncertainties, at least in the beginning.

“You have to get comfortable with two simultaneous but competing truths. On the one hand, we probably overestimate in the very short term, which leads to price inflation,” Gerstner said. “But much like the internet in ’98 and ’99, where there was overpricing in the short run, we dramatically underestimated the impact it was going to have over the preceding decade.”

Gerstner said he’s grown hopeful about the coming years as the Federal Reserve comes to the end of its tightening cycle. He added that the IPO pipeline looks “chock full” for the three quarters ahead.

“I’m very optimistic over the course of the next two or three years. Why? because we’re not going to continue to hike rates, and we’re at the beginning of one of the biggest tech booms in the history of technology,” he said.

Altimeter held Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia as some of its biggest bets at the end of the second quarter.

Don’t miss the biggest investment ideas in the business. Learn more about CNBC’s Delivering Alpha investor summit here.

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