Bill Gates Says AI Can Make the World a ‘More Equitable Place’ – Gates shared his optimism about AI technology contributing to global equity in the coming year. In his 2024 predictions blog post, Bill Gates, the investor and co-founder of Microsoft, expressed his belief that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to create a “more equitable place” in the world.
The billionaire entrepreneur said if smart investments are made now, AI can be used to lessen or even “eliminate” the time between new innovations reach the “rich world” and the “poor world.” Gates emphasizes that a crucial takeaway from AI applications, especially in global health industries, is the necessity for AI products to be better tailored to the end users.
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“If I had to make a prediction, in high-income countries like the United States, I would guess that we are 18–24 months away from significant levels of AI use by the general population.” He said that in African countries, he anticipates seeing a “comparable level of use” in more or less three years. “That’s still a gap, but it’s much shorter than the lag times we’ve seen with other innovations.”
While it’s in its early stages, Gates noted that this year has provided insights into the tasks AI can handle independently, functioning as a “copilot.” He acknowledged the “long road ahead,” highlighting challenges like scaling projects without compromising quality and establishing backend access with lasting functionality.
Earlier in the year, Gates stated that the “Age of AI” has begun and called the technology “as revolutionary as mobile phones and the Internet.” In the last year, the swift rise of generative AI has caused significant disruptions in nearly every major global industry. Examples range from India employing AI for enhanced predictive weather forecasting to the establishment of complete AI-driven newsrooms, drawing attention even from the Pope.