New York (CNN) — It’s no secret that Bill Gates is bullish on artificial intelligence, but he’s now predicting that the technology will be transformative for everyone within the next five years.
The rise of AI has elicited fear that the technology will eliminate millions of jobs around the world. The International Monetary Fund this week reported that about 40% of jobs around the world could be affected by the rise of AI.
Gates doesn’t necessarily disagree with that notion, but he believes history shows with every new technology comes fear and then new opportunity.
“As we had [with] agricultural productivity in 1900, people were like ‘Hey, what are people going to do?’ In fact, a lot of new things, a lot of new job categories were created and we’re way better off than when everybody was doing farm work,” Gates said. “This will be like that.”
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Tuesday, Gates predicted that AI will make everyone’s lives easier, specifically pointing to helping doctor’s do their paperwork, which is “part of the job they don’t like, we can make that very efficient.”
Since there’s isn’t a need for “much new hardware,” Gates said accessing AI will be over “the phone or the PC you already have connected over the internet connection you already have.”
He also said that the improvements with OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 were “dramatic” because it can “essentially read and write” thus it’s “almost like having a white collar worker to be a tutor, to give health advice, to help write code, to help with technical support calls.” He said that incorporating that technology into the education or medical sectors will be “fantastic.”
Microsoft has a multibillion-dollar partnership with OpenAI. Gates remains one of Microsoft’s largest shareholders.
“The goal of the Gates Foundation is to make sure that the delay between benefitting people in poor countries versus getting to rich countries will make that very short,” Gates told Zakaria at Davos for the World Economic Forum. “After all, the shortages of doctors and teachers is way more acute in Africa then it is in the West.”
The IMF, in its report this week, had a much less optimistic view. The group said AI would deepen inequality without intervention from politicians.
Giving away his wealth
Gates is worth $140 billion, making him the fourth-richest person on Earth, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. But he likely would still be the world’s richest person if he hadn’t committed to giving away all of his money.
He told CNN that he doesn’t worry about losing his wealth.
“I have more than enough money for my own consumption,” Gates said when Zakaria asked how philanthropic efforts are going. “I’m getting myself to go down the list, and I’ll be proud when I fall off altogether.”
The Microsoft cofounder and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, have both pledged to donate the vast majority of their wealth to the foundation they established together 20 years ago, as well as to other philanthropic endeavors.
In 2022, Gates announced the foundation’s intention to give away $9 billion annually by 2026. He said he’s “excited that will have so much impact” to the organizations he’s giving it to.
He said he and partners like Warren Buffett have given away about $100 billion into his foundation. At a rate of $9 billion a year, Gates anticipates he’ll have given away all of his money in about 20 years.
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