By Grace Mayer | Business Insider
Bill Gates has been thinking a lot about artificial intelligence, and now he’s put those thoughts to paper.
The Microsoft cofounder published a seven-page letter on Tuesday — “The Age of AI has Begun” — outlining his views on the future of AI. He wrote that developing AI is “as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the internet, and the mobile phone.”
The letter arrived the same day Google released its AI chatbot, Bard, which joins Microsoft’s Bing in the AI arms race, and a week after OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, announced the much-anticipated evolution of its AI model, GPT-4.
Gates has previously spoken about his excitement for the future of AI, namely how it could be used as a tutor in education or to provide medical advice to people where doctors aren’t easily accessible.
The billionaire also acknowledged in the letter concerns around artificial intelligence, including the risk that humans will misuse it, as well as the possibility of superintelligent, or “strong,” AI that could “establish their own goals” as AI technology improves over time.
In the letter, Gates elaborated on these ideas by discussing his thoughts on how AI can be used both as a tool to improve people’s productivity, and how it can help improve global inequities — in the workplace, healthcare, and education.
‘A white-collar worker available to help you with various tasks’
Gates writes about how AI could be used in the workforce as a “digital personal assistant” to enhance employee productivity — an idea he previously spoke about in February. AI, integrated into digital work tools like Microsoft Office, could help with managing and writing emails, Gate wrote. He wrote that these AI-generated “personal agents” — equipped with vast knowledge and data on their company and industry — could also pose as resources for employees to communicate with.
“As computing power gets cheaper, GPT’s ability to express ideas will increasingly be like having a white-collar worker available to help you with various tasks,” he wrote.
“The changes we will see because of this extraordinary AI technology will be on par with changes that happened with the Renaissance. You need to understand this because it will be a big part of your life soon.” –Rose Law Group Founder & President Jordan Rose