During his third Reddit AMA conference (Ask Me Anything), Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, revealed some personal fears and weaknesses. One of them made him feel inferior in particular: the fact that he does not speak any foreign languages. Gates explained that, although he aced Latin and Greek in high school, affecting his vocabulary, no doubt, he always wished to know more actual languages, like French, Arabic or Chinese.
Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, Gates hopes to find enough time to learn one of these languages. So far, he says he couldn’t keep up with the Duolingo app in learning French. He also confessed his amazement toward Zuckerberg’s ability of learning Mandarin to such a level that he could participate in a Q&A with Chinese students.
One of the participants in the AMA asked Gates what he thinks about personal computing’s evolution for the next 30 years, and he predicted more progress than ever before. He is convinced that once we will figure out how to make robots or computers move and see, experts will start developing such mechanical helpers for all sorts of tasks, like picking fruit or moving a patient inside a hospital. Also, speech understanding and translation will evolve considerably.
While answering a question, Gates disclosed information about a project called the Personal Agent, which is developed in collaboration with Microsoft. The service is part of his promise to work more with Microsoft in 2015, and it will guide you in your everyday tasks, remembering everything and helping you find efficient apps and things worth of your attention.0
One of the more interesting discoveries from the AMA place Gates in the category of people who fear that super intelligence might overrule humans one day. His solution was to manage machines in a way that doesn’t equip them with a lot of intelligence, and still being helpful in different domains. Not only does he agree with Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking on the problem of super intelligence, but he expressed his confusion about people who don’t seem to be worried about it.
On other occasions when he spoke about this issue, Gates stated that his intention is not to confine technological evolution, but that he cannot help to wonder what will happen when machines and computers replace people in various jobs. He also said that he fears that advanced intelligence will eventually reach a conflict of interests with “the goals of the human system”.
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