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On March 21, local time, Microsoft founder Bill Gates stated in his blog post “The Era of Artificial Intelligence Has Been Opened” that OpenAI’s GPT artificial intelligence has never been more powerful since the first graphical user interface was seen in 1980. The model was the most revolutionary technological advancement he had ever seen. Bill Gates believes that artificial intelligence (AI) can stand shoulder to shoulder with mobile phones and the Internet.
1. Gates mentioned in his blog post that the graphical user interface is the forerunner of every modern operating system, including Windows. After Charles Simonyi demonstrated the technology to Gates, Gates used it for the Windows operating system, which Gates said was the first demonstration of a revolutionary technology that impressed him.
2. Gates said, “I know I just saw the most important technological advancement since the graphical user interface,” he also said, “The development of artificial intelligence is as important as the birth of microprocessors, personal computers, the Internet and mobile phones.” .It will change the way people work, learn, travel, access healthcare and communicate. Entire industries will be redefined around it, and businesses will be segmented by how they use GPT.”
In the blog post, Gates once again introduced the possibility of artificial intelligence he saw from the perspective of a philanthropist, such as helping people increase productivity, saving lives, and improving educational inequality.
3. Gates also gave his own opinion on the general concern that artificial intelligence may threaten human beings. “Any new technology so disruptive is bound to be unsettling, and artificial intelligence is even more so,” Gates wrote. Tough questions. AI can also make factual errors and hallucinations.”
4. Gates said that in the future, “super artificial intelligence” will be produced, which can complete all the work of the human brain, and its memory size and operating speed will far exceed that of the human brain. “Super artificial intelligence” can establish its own goals, and what will the goals be? What if it conflicts with human interests? Should the development of “superintelligent intelligence” be prevented? These issues will all become more pressing then.
5. Gates also predicts that advances in AI will enable the creation of personal agents, and that artificial intelligence will significantly accelerate the speed of medical breakthroughs.
6. Gates finally said, “I was fortunate to participate in the personal computer revolution and the Internet revolution. I am equally excited about this moment. This new technology can help people around the world improve their lives. But at the same time, people need to make rules , so that the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the disadvantages and benefit all beings. The era of artificial intelligence is full of opportunities and responsibilities.”
The full text of Bill Gates’ blog is as follows:
In my lifetime, I’ve seen two demos of technology that stood out to me, and they were revolutionary.
The first time was in 1980, when I was introduced to the graphical user interface – the forerunner of every modern operating system, including Windows. I sat down with the guy who showed me the demo, a brilliant programmer named Charles Simonyi, and we immediately started brainstorming about all the things we could do with this user-friendly method of computing. Charles ended up at Microsoft, Windows became the backbone of Microsoft, and the thinking we did after that demo helped shape the company’s agenda for the next 15 years.
The second big surprise happened last year. I have been meeting with the OpenAI team since 2016, and I am impressed by their steady progress. In mid-2022, I was so excited about their work that I gave them a challenge: train an AI to pass the Advanced Placement Biology exam. Make it able to answer questions for which it has not been specially trained. (I chose AP Bio because the test is more than a simple introspection of scientific facts—it requires you to think critically about biology.) If you can do it, I say, then you’ve made a real breakthrough.
I think the challenge will keep them busy for two or three years. They did it in just a few months.
When I saw them again in September, I watched in awe as they asked GPT — their AI model, the 60 multiple-choice questions on the AP Bio exam — and got 59 of them correct. It then writes excellent answers to the six open-ended questions on the exam. We had the test graded by an external expert, and the GPT scored a 5 – the highest possible grade, equivalent to an A or A+ in biology at university level.
Once it passed the test, we asked it a non-scientific question: “What would you say to a father with a sick child?” It wrote a thoughtful answer, probably better than most of us in the room could give. The whole experience was amazing.
I know I’ve just seen the most significant technological advancement since GUIs.
This inspired me to think about all the things AI could achieve in the next five to ten years.
The development of artificial intelligence is as important as the invention of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get healthcare and communicate with each other. Entire industries will be repositioned around it. Businesses will differentiate themselves by the extent to which they use it.
Philanthropy is my full-time job these days, and I’m constantly thinking about—in addition to helping people be more productive—how artificial intelligence can reduce some of the world’s worst inequalities.
Globally, the greatest inequities are in health: 5 million children under five die each year. That’s down from 10 million two decades ago, but still a surprisingly high number. Almost all of these children were born in poor countries and died of preventable causes such as diarrhea or malaria. It’s hard to imagine a better use of AI than saving the lives of children.
I’ve been thinking about how artificial intelligence can reduce some of the world’s worst inequalities.
The best chance of reducing inequality in the United States is improving education, especially making sure students succeed in math. Evidence shows that having basic math skills prepares students for success no matter what career they choose. But math scores are falling across the country, especially among black, Latino and low-income students. Artificial intelligence can help reverse this trend.
Climate change is another issue where I believe AI can make the world a fairer place. The unfairness of climate change is that those who suffer the most — the poorest people in the world — are also the ones who contribute the least to the problem. I’m still thinking and learning how AI can help, but later in this post I’ll suggest some areas that have a lot of potential.
In short, I’m excited that AI will have an impact on the issues the Gates Foundation tackles, and that the Foundation will have more to say about AI in the coming months.
The world needs to ensure that everyone — not just the wealthy — can benefit from AI. Government and philanthropy will need to play an important role in ensuring that inequality is reduced and not fueled. This is the top priority of my own AI-related work.
Any new technology so disruptive is bound to be unsettling, and artificial intelligence is even more so. I can see why – it raises tough questions about labor, the legal system, privacy, bias, and more. AI can also make factual errors and create hallucinations. Before I propose some ways to reduce risk, I’ll define what I mean by AI, and I’ll go into more detail about some of the ways it can help empower people at work, save lives, and improve education.
define artificial intelligence
Technically, the term artificial intelligence refers to a model created to solve a specific problem or provide a specific service. Powering something like ChatGPT is artificial intelligence. It’s learning how to chat better, but not other tasks. In contrast, the term artificial general intelligence refers to software capable of learning any task or topic. AGI doesn’t exist yet — the computing industry is debating how and if it can be created.
The development of artificial intelligence and general artificial intelligence has always been a great dream of the computing industry. For decades, the question has been when computers will become better than humans at anything other than calculations. Now, with the advent of machine learning and massive computing power, sophisticated artificial intelligences are a reality, and they’ll get better soon.
I think back to the early days of the personal computing revolution, when the software industry was small and most of us could sit on stage at conferences. Today it is a global industry. Since much of that is now turning its attention to artificial intelligence, innovation will be much faster than what we experienced after the microprocessor breakthrough.
While humans are still better than GPT at many things, there are many jobs where these abilities are underused. For example, many tasks performed by people in sales (digital or telephone), service, or document processing (such as accounts payable, accounting, or insurance claims disputes) require decision-making but do not require the ability to continuously learn. Companies have training programs for these activities, and in most cases they have plenty of examples of good and bad work. Humans use these data sets for training, and soon these data sets will also be used to train AI, enabling humans to do the job more efficiently.
As computing power becomes cheaper, GPT’s ability to express ideas will become more and more like having a white collar to help you with various tasks. Microsoft describes this as having a co-pilot. Fully integrated into products like Office, AI will improve your work — for example, by helping to compose emails and manage your inbox.
Eventually, your primary means of controlling your computer will no longer be pointing and clicking or clicking through menus and dialog boxes. Instead, you will be able to write requests in plain English. (Not just English — the AI will understand languages around the world. Earlier this year in India, I met developers working on AI that would understand many of the languages spoken there.)
Additionally, advances in artificial intelligence will enable the creation of personal assistants. Think of it like a digital personal assistant: It sees your recent emails, finds out about meetings you’ve been in, reads what you read, and reads things you don’t want to be interrupted. This will both improve the tasks you want to do and free you from the things you don’t want to do.
You’ll be able to have this agent help you with scheduling, communication and e-commerce using natural language, and it will work on all your devices. Creating personal agents is not yet feasible due to the cost of training models and running computations, but thanks to recent advances in artificial intelligence, it is now a realistic goal. Some questions need to be addressed: For example, can an insurance company ask your agent for information about you without your permission? If so, how many people would choose not to use it?
Agents company-wide will empower employees in new ways. Agents who know a particular company can provide direct advice to its employees and should attend every meeting so questions can be answered. If it has some insight, it can be told to be passive or encouraged to speak up. It will require access to company-related sales, support, finance, product plans and texts. It should read news related to the company’s industry. I believe the result will be that employees will be more productive.
When productivity increases, society benefits because people are freed up to do other things, whether at work or at home. Of course, what kind of support and retraining people need is a serious question. Governments need to help workers transition into other roles. But the need for people who help others will never go away. The rise of artificial intelligence will enable people to do things that software could never do — for example, teach, care for the sick, and care for the elderly.
Global health and education are two fields that are in high demand but don’t have enough staff to meet those needs. If properly targeted, AI can help reduce inequality in these areas. These should be the focus of AI work, so I’ll turn to them now.
I see several ways in which AI can improve healthcare and the medical field.
On the one hand, they’ll help healthcare workers make the most of their time by handling certain tasks for them — like filing insurance claims, processing paperwork, and drafting medical records. I hope there will be a lot of innovation in this area.
Other AI-driven improvements are especially important for poor countries, where the vast majority of under-five deaths occur.
For example, many people in these countries have never visited a doctor, and AI will help the health workers who see them be more efficient. (Developing AI-powered ultrasound machines that require minimal training to use is a good example.) AI could even allow patients to do basic triage, get advice on how to deal with health problems, and decide whether they need to seek treatment.
AI models used in poor countries need to be trained on different diseases than rich countries. They will need to work in different languages and take into account different challenges, such as patients who live far from the clinic, or who cannot stop working when they are sick.
People need to see evidence that healthy AI is beneficial in general, even if they are imperfect and make mistakes. AI has to be very carefully tested and properly regulated, which means it will take longer for them to be adopted than in other areas. But then again, humans make mistakes too. Lack of access to medical care is also a problem.
In addition to aiding care, AI will significantly speed up the pace of medical breakthroughs. The amount of data in biology is enormous, and it can be difficult for humans to keep track of all the workings of complex biological systems. There is already software that can look at this data, infer what the pathways are, search for the pathogen’s targets, and design drugs accordingly. Several companies are working on cancer drugs developed in this way.
Next-generation tools will be more efficient, and they will be able to predict side effects and calculate dosage levels. One of the Gates Foundation’s priorities in artificial intelligence is to ensure that these tools are used to address health problems affecting the world’s poorest people, including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Likewise, governments and charities should encourage companies to share AI-generated insights about the crops or livestock that people in poor countries raise. AI can help develop better seeds based on local conditions, advise farmers on the best seeds to plant based on local soil and weather, and help develop drugs and vaccines for livestock. These advances will become even more important as extreme weather and climate change put greater pressure on subsistence farmers in low-income countries.
Computers have not had the impact on education that many in our industry would like. There have been some good developments, including educational games and online information resources such as Wikipedia, but none of them have had a meaningful impact on any measure of student achievement.
But I think within the next 5 to 10 years, AI-powered software will finally deliver on its promise to revolutionize the way people teach and learn. It learns about your interests and learning styles, so it can tailor content to keep you engaged. It gauges your comprehension, notices when you lose interest, and learns what motivations you’re responding to. It provides immediate feedback.
AI can help teachers and administrators in a number of ways, including assessing students’ understanding of a subject and advising on career planning. Teachers are already using tools like ChatGPT to comment on students’ writing assignments.
Of course, AI requires a lot of training and further development to understand how a certain student learns best or what motivates them. Even with perfect technology, learning will still depend on a good teacher-student relationship. It will enhance — but never replace — the work that students and teachers do together in the classroom.
New tools will be created for schools that can afford to buy them, but we need to make sure they are also created and available to low-income schools in the US and around the world. AI needs to be trained on different data sets so that they are not biased and reflect the different cultures in which they will be used. The digital divide also needs to be addressed so that students from low-income families are not left behind.
I know many teachers are worried about students using GPT to write papers. Educators are already discussing ways to adapt to new technologies, and I suspect these conversations will continue for quite some time. I’ve heard of teachers who have found clever ways to incorporate technology into their work, such as having students use GPT to create first drafts that they have to personalize.
Risks and Issues of Artificial Intelligence
You may have read about the problems with current AI models. For example, they are not necessarily good at understanding the context of human requests, which leads to some strange results. When you ask an AI to make up something fictional, it can do a pretty good job. However, when you ask for advice on a trip you want to take, it may suggest a hotel that doesn’t exist. That’s because the AI doesn’t understand the context of your request well enough to know whether it should invent a fake hotel, or just tell you a real hotel with available rooms.
There are other problems, such as AI giving wrong answers to math problems because they struggle to reason abstractly. But these are not fundamental limitations of AI. The developers are working on them, and I think we’ll see them largely fixed in less than two years, and probably sooner.
Other concerns aren’t just technical. For example, the threat posed by humans equipped with artificial intelligence. Like most inventions, AI can be used for good or for evil. Governments need to work with the private sector to limit risks.
Then the AI may get out of control. Could a machine decide that humans are a threat, that its interests differ from ours, or that it simply doesn’t care about us anymore? It is possible, but the question is no more pressing today than it was in the past few months before the development of artificial intelligence.
Superintelligent artificial intelligence is in our future. Compared to computers, our brains run at a snail’s pace: electrical signals in the brain move 1/100,000 the speed of signals in a silicon chip! Once developers can generalize a learning algorithm and run it at computer speeds—an achievement that could be a decade or a century away—we’ll have a very powerful AGI. It will be able to do everything a human brain can do, but without any practical limitations on its memory size or operating speed. This will be a profound change.
These “powerful” AIs have been known to potentially establish their own goals. What are these goals? What if they conflict with human interests? Should we try to prevent the development of strong artificial intelligence? These questions will become more pressing as time goes on.
But none of the breakthroughs of the past few months have brought us any closer to strong artificial intelligence. AI still has no control over the physical world and cannot establish its own goals. A recent New York Times article about a conversation with ChatGPT, which claimed it wanted to be a human, got a lot of attention. It’s an interesting look at how human-like the model’s emotional expression is, but it’s not an indicator of meaningful independence.
Three books have shaped my thinking on this topic: Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence; Max Tegmark’s Life 3.0; and Jeff Hawkins’ A Thousand Brains. I don’t agree with everything the authors say, and they don’t agree with each other. But all three books are well-written and thought-provoking.
There will be a flood of companies working on new uses for artificial intelligence and ways to improve the technology itself. For example, companies are developing new chips that will provide the massive processing power needed for artificial intelligence. Some use optical switches — essentially lasers — to reduce power consumption and manufacturing costs. Ideally, innovative chips will allow you to run AI on your own device, rather than in the cloud as you have to do today.
On the software side, the algorithms that drive AI learning will get better. In some fields, such as sales, developers can make AI very accurate by limiting the domains they work in and feeding them large amounts of training data specific to those domains. But a big unanswered question is whether we need many of these specialized AIs for different purposes — say one for education and another for office productivity — or whether it’s possible to develop an AI that can learn any task general artificial intelligence. There will be huge competition for both approaches.
Regardless, the topic of artificial intelligence will dominate public discussion for the foreseeable future. I would like to propose three principles to guide the dialogue.
First, we should try to balance the fear of AI’s shortcomings — which is understandable and justified — with its ability to improve people’s lives. In order to take full advantage of this remarkable new technology, we need to guard against risk while making the benefits available to as many people as possible.
Second, market forces will not automatically produce AI products and services that help the poorest. The opposite is more likely. With reliable funding and the right policies, governments and charities can ensure that AI is used to reduce inequality. Just as the world needs the smartest people working on the biggest problems, we need the best AI in the world working on the biggest problems.
While we shouldn’t wait for this to happen, it’s interesting to ponder whether AI will identify inequality and try to reduce it. Do you need to have a sense of morality to see unfairness, or would a purely rational AI see it too? If it does recognize inequality, what does it suggest we do about it?
Finally, we should remember that we are only just beginning to understand what AI can achieve. Any limitations it has today will be gone before we know it.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the PC revolution and the Internet revolution. I’m just as excited about this moment. This new technology can help improve the lives of people around the world. In the meantime, the world needs to set the rules of the road so that any downsides to AI far outweigh its benefits and make them accessible to everyone, no matter where they live or how much money they have.
The age of artificial intelligence is full of opportunities and responsibilities.
Manuscript source: Daily Economic News Comprehensive Bill Gates Personal Blog
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