Bill Gates recently held his fifth Ask Me Anything (AMA) session over on Reddit, answering various questions regarding computers, the internet, philanthropy, disease eradication, and even what makes up his favorite sandwich.
When asked whether social media and the internet in general played a role in dividing the United States, he said that with everyone's ability to publish information and making it easy to find would enhance democracy, and the overall quality of political debate. However, he expressed concern on the "partitioning" of ideologies. "It would seem strange to have to force people to look at ideas they disagree with so that probably isn't the solution," Bill shared. "We don't want to get to where American politics partitions people into isolated groups."
He believes that the most pressing issue that concerns the current generation is the sense of isolation. He explains:
"I still wonder if digital tools can help people find opportunities to get together with others - not Tinder but more like adults who want to mentor kids or hang out with each other. It is great that kids go off and pursue opportunities but when you get communities where the economy is weak and a lot of young people have left then something should be done to help."
Moreover, when asked about his greatest achievement, he said that being part of the software revolution empowering people was the best thing he has ever done. He adds that he is currently very focused on making sure polio is eradicated, and he thinks that being successful is "as good as shipping even the best software product."
Answering a query on what technological advancement he would like to see on his lifetime, Bill sees that the big milestone is when computers can read and understand information just like humans.
"There is a lot of work going on in this field - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, academia,... Right now computers don't know how to represent knowledge so they can't read a text book and pass a test. Another whole area is vaccines. We need a vaccine for HIV, Malaria and TB and I hope we have them in the next 10-15 years."
The former Microsoft CEO was also game on answering random questions. When asked whether a hotdog was a sandwich, he said:
"If you don't have a bun then it absolutely is not. If you slice the hot dog and put it on a normal piece of bread (like Burgermaster) then it is. When you use a hot dog bun then it is ambiguous."
He also shared that a typical 'Bill sandwich' is a "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger," much to the delight of the redditors.
With Bill being a philanthropist, a redditor asked him what the limits of money are in that aspect. He shares his insights:
"Philanthropy is small as a part of the overall economy so it can't do things like fund health care or education for everyone. Government and the private sector are the big players so philanthropy has to be more innovative and fund pilot programs to help the other sectors."
"One thing that is a challenge for our Foundation is that poor countries often have weak governance - small budgets, and the people in the ministries don't have much training. This makes it harder to get things done."
"If we had more money we could do more good things - even though we are the biggest foundation we are still resource limited," he concludes.
You can read more of his answers to various questions by hitting the source link below.