Bill Gates talks about "paper tablets" with Jimmy Fallon and makes an odd viral video

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is continuing his round of media appearances this week to promote his 2014 letter on poverty from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On Tuesday night, he appeared on NBC's talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to discuss the letter but also offered his predictions on what the future holds for technology.

One of the clips, which can be seen on the show's YouTube channel, has Fallon sheepishly removing his Apple MacBook from his desk and out of Gates' view, along with other non-Microsoft based gadgets. Fallon asked Gates what he thought the next big thing was going to be in technology. Gates replied that in the future, PCs will be able "to see, to listen, to talk, to recognize your handwriting" and users will work with multiple screens.

Speaking of handwriting, Gates thought that tablets would be used more for that specific purpose by now. Gates believes more work needs to be done to make writing on the tablet more comfortable, along with better software. He stated, "We've got people hard at work on that and paper tablets will be the next thing to go."

The two men chatted about a number of other topics, and Fallon even brought up Gates' old mugshot from the 1970s when he was arrested for speeding. Finally, Gates said he wanted to help promote his 2014 letter, and its website GatesLetter.com, via a viral video. This is the odd result:

The Andy Warhol-inspired video even has a few shots of Gates wearing Seattle Seahawks apparel. Naturally, Gates is a fan of the NFL football team based in his long time residence that is facing the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on February 2nd; his fellow co-founder at Microsoft, Paul Allen, is the owner of the team.

Source: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on YouTube

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I could not agree more: Handwriting is the greatest revolution introduced by the Tablet PC.
Now if schools in the US could reinstate learning cursive writing as mandatory.....

Fritzly said,
I could not agree more: Handwriting is the greatest revolution introduced by the Tablet PC.
Now if schools in the US could reinstate learning cursive writing as mandatory.....


Agreed. But there's a much wider way to look at this. Most of the people in the world don't use Roman/Arabic alphabet-based languages for written communications. In China, for example, (20% of the world's population) they use a pictographic writing methodology that isn't based on what we all know as an "alphabet".

In order to enter a Chinese character on a computer a Chinese person needs to learn an entirely new language called Pinyin - a way of using Roman characters to enter Chinese characters. For example, to enter the word "be", a Chinese typist would have to press the keys S, H and I and then select the correct representation from a list of responses. Using a keyboard to type this is obviously much slower than just writing the character shi (是) on the screen.

The shift from keyboard to handwriting is a major factor in bringing computing to the real masses.

FYI: Microsoft's handwriting technology wasn't developed by Microsoft, it was licensed from an interesting company in Beijing called Hanwang, who also made some of the earliest tablets - long before Apple.

Major_Plonquer said,


Agreed. But there's a much wider way to look at this. Most of the people in the world don't use Roman/Arabic alphabet-based languages for written communications. In China, for example, (20% of the world's population) they use a pictographic writing methodology that isn't based on what we all know as an "alphabet".

In order to enter a Chinese character on a computer a Chinese person needs to learn an entirely new language called Pinyin - a way of using Roman characters to enter Chinese characters. For example, to enter the word "be", a Chinese typist would have to press the keys S, H and I and then select the correct representation from a list of responses. Using a keyboard to type this is obviously much slower than just writing the character shi (是) on the screen.

The shift from keyboard to handwriting is a major factor in bringing computing to the real masses.

FYI: Microsoft's handwriting technology wasn't developed by Microsoft, it was licensed from an interesting company in Beijing called Hanwang, who also made some of the earliest tablets - long before Apple.

Yes, but it is not as cumbersome as you make it seem. Lots of apps now a days (Sogou and others) predict the character you are typing and knows grammatically the difference between 吗 and 妈. (Mom and a character used to indicate the sentence is a question, they are both pronounced ma.)

By the way, 是 which is directly translated as "to be", in Chinese it is closer to "yes or in some cases right".

Fritzly said,
I could not agree more: Handwriting is the greatest revolution introduced by the Tablet PC.
Now if schools in the US could reinstate learning cursive writing as mandatory.....

Wait... When did they stop?

I was in Elementary School from 2003-2007. It was mandatory then.

I had no clue they stopped doing that.

You know, that's unfair that kids these days don't have to do it but I did. I ****ing hated cursive, now that I remember...

MASTER260 said,

Wait... When did they stop?

I was in Elementary School from 2003-2007. It was mandatory then.

I had no clue they stopped doing that.

You know, that's unfair that kids these days don't have to do it but I did. I ****ing hated cursive, now that I remember...

When I was in elementary school 7 years ago they were still requiring cursive, but as we went through high school everyone just forgot it. My sister still writes in cursive, but she is still in middle school.

My understanding is that it is regulated by each State: when my daughter was in elementary school in Florida 3 years ago they did not teach it, I had to arrange private lessons for her. In California it should be mandatory. I was in elementary school from 1962 to 1967, and in Italy so at the time it was inconceivable being unable to write in cursive, you would have been considered analphabet....

Darth Tigris said,
Would've probably cost $1200+ and likely flopped because of it.

Why 1200? Atom processor would be enough for it.

Awesome to see my friend Bill working harder to change the world and at the same time keep that funny expressions and sharing it with the world! really cool