Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is confident that artificial intelligence (AI) can make the world a “more equitable place.”
The 68-year-old billionaire cheered on the advancement of AI in a blog post sharing his predictions for 2024 and that “next year is an opportunity to shape the world’s next chapter for the better.”
“This year gave us a glimpse of how AI will shape the future, and as 2023 comes to a close, I’m thinking more than ever about the world today’s young people will inherit,” he wrote, adding later that he wanted to share “just a few reasons I am optimistic about the year ahead.”
Gates noted how different countries have had multiple applications of AI and predicted that “The work that will be done over the next year is setting the stage for a massive technology boom later this decade.”
Bill Gates shared his predictions on how AI will impact healthcare, education, work, and the broader innovation pipeline.
Most notably, Gates believes AI will transform education through individualized tutoring.
TL;DR: 2024 is going to be a wild year for AI. pic.twitter.com/bUpO6tMEKy
— Rowan Cheung (@rowancheung) December 20, 2023
He cited examples of AI being used in education and fighting disease as well as in research and access to information while noting, “There is a long road ahead for projects like these.”
“But I’m optimistic that we will solve them. And I’m inspired to see so many researchers already thinking about how we deploy new technologies in low- and middle-income countries,” he wrote.
“We can learn a lot from global health about how to make AI more equitable. The main lesson is that the product must be tailored to the people who will use it,” Gates continued in his annual message.
“If we make smart investments now, AI can make the world a more equitable place. It can reduce or even eliminate the lag time between when the rich world gets an innovation and when the poor world does,” he added.
“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. In African countries, I expect to see a comparable level of use in three years or so,” he predicted. “That’s still a gap, but it’s much shorter than the lag times we’ve seen with other innovations.”
“I feel like a kid on Christmas morning when I think about how AI can be used to get game-changing technologies out to the people who need them faster than ever before. This is something I am going to spend a lot of time thinking about next year,” the billionaire declared.
In a blog post earlier this year, Gates declared that the “Age of AI” has begun, touting the technology “as revolutionary as mobile phones and the Internet.”
He predicted that AI “will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.”
“The world needs to make sure that everyone—and not just people who are well-off—benefits from artificial intelligence. Governments and philanthropy will need to play a major role in ensuring that it reduces inequity and doesn’t contribute to it,” he wrote in the March blog post. “This is the priority for my own work related to AI.”