Bill Gates is now predicting that AI technology will be transformative for everyone within the next five years.
The rise of AI raises fears that the technology will eliminate millions of jobs around the world with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reporting this week that about 40% of jobs around the world could be affected by the rise of AI.
But Gates believes history shows that 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 in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Tuesday.
“This will be like that.”
Gates predicted that AI will make everyone’s lives easier, especially helping doctors 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 is 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.”
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.
“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.”