Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is very bullish on AI, saying that he believes that "the most important innovations going on right now are what's going on with AI." In an interview this week with the German-based Handelsblatt Disrupt podcast, Gates says that AI has the potential to automate tasks in areas like education and health care.
Gates said that until recently, AI systems "couldn't read", adding, "If you handed them a textbook, like biology, and you said, 'Here's a test; did you really understand what was in this book? ' they could not do it." However, new systems like ChatGPT are learning how to both read and write. While Gates admits that they are currently prone to errors, and they don't know if they are making mistakes, the improvements that will be made to chatbots over the next couple of years "will be profound."
Gates also mentioned the announcements of the new Bing chatbot from Microsoft, which he admitted he has a bias for, along with Google's competitor Bard. He sees AI being integrated into Microsoft Office and even Microsoft Teams. He offered an example of a chat in Teams to discuss a company's sales, and a person could ask an AI chatbot to bring up the sales history for a specific country.
In terms of human jobs that might be affected by this new technology, Gates does think that there will not be as many document processing jobs in the future, saying its similar to the reduction of typists jobs today. While AI could have a bigger impact on the jobs market in the future, Gates believes for the next few years, it will mostly be used to make white collar workers more efficient.