• With Microsoft involved in the new AI war, Gates was expected to have his say

Artificial Intelligence is giving a lot to talk about, and more looks like it will. The battle seems to be between Microsoft and its alliance with OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, and Google, which seems unconvinced about the final launch of its AI products.

This week, German media Handelsblatt Disrupt interviewed Bill Gates about the disruptive power of artificial intelligence and how new technologies are changing the world of work.

AI will help us work fewer hours, Gates says

Gates doesn’t think AI will jeopardize any jobs. “There won’t be fewer teachers or fewer doctors,” Gates says. In the long run, working hours would even decrease. Because “while machines take care of routine tasks, employees can concentrate on the important activities of their job.”

His speech seems to be in line with the trend in recent months about the four-hour workweek. Can AI help a reduction in working hours without higher costs being applied?

“I’m quite impressed with the pace of improvement of these AIs. I think they will have a big impact,” Gates said. He went on to express his views on the potential of AI tutors helping children learn math, and medical help for people in Africa who can’t access a doctor. And as he points out, “I still work a little bit with Microsoft, so I follow this very closely.”

Microsoft is one of the biggest investors in OpenAI, creator of DALL-E or ChatGPT, in which it has invested $1 billion so far and is expected to continue to do so in return for priority access to its technology, for example, as it has announced, by introducing ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.

“It’s clear that generative AI is a technology worth keeping a close eye on. It has the potential to transform industries and change the way we live and work, including virtual reality. Companies that adopt generative AI will have a significant advantage over those that don’t, and it’s an opportunity for people to improve their skills, access to information and opportunities,” Gates concluded.

Gates also talks about major threats to humanity, such as pandemics, famines and the climate crisis. He is optimistic: despite major setbacks in the past, “it will still be better to be born ten or twenty years from now than today,” he says. The reason, he says, is the increasing speed of innovation in many areas.

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