Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that the language generation artificial intelligence (AI) tools of Open AI are one of the two revolutionary technologies that you have come across in life.
The 67-year-old billionaire and philanthropist sees the promise of this new technology as the “Most important technological advance since the graphical user interface“, which allowed people interact more easily with computers through the use of icons, menus, and windows, and set the standard for modern operating systems.
“The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet and the mobile phone.Gates wrote in his Gates Notes blog.
“It will change the way people work, learn, travel, receive health care, and communicate with each other. Whole industries will reorient themselves around it. Companies will be distinguished by how well they use it“.
Gates had been meeting with the OpenAI team since 2016 and in 2022 he challenged them to train the system to pass the Advanced Placement biology exam.
More than just rattling off facts, the test asks students to think critically about biology, he said.
He thought it would take a few years, but it only took a few months for the AI model known as ChatGPT Earn the equivalent of an A in a college-level biology course.
OpenAI, now backed by an additional $10 billion investment from Microsoft, launched last week GPT-4, the latest version of an AI model that generates text.
It can also be used for tasks like coding and creating images, and the newer version also answers user-provided questions about images.
OpenAI has bragged about the success of GPT-4 in standardized tests, but a Princeton University professor and a PhD student argued, in a blog post, that they may use incorrect benchmarks to assess technology capability.
Gates, who spends most of his time involved with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said he is encouraged by the potential of AI to reduce some of the world’s worst inequalities, from healthcare in the developing world to climate change and education.
His foundation will provide more details on how he hopes to use AI in the coming months, he said.
However, Gates acknowledged that the technology “raises tough questions about the workforce, the legal system, privacy, bias and more“, wrote.
“The world must ensure that everyone – not just the wealthy – benefits from artificial intelligence. Governments and philanthropy will have an important role to play in ensuring that it reduces inequality and does not contribute to it. This is the priority for my own AI related work“, wrote.
Gates also referred to the threat of ‘humans armed with AI’, and concluded that governments should collaborate to set limits with private companies.
There’s also what he considers a longer-term risk: that the AI is not aligned with humans or that it works against people.
Those questions will become more important over time, Gates said. “Could a machine decide that humans are a threat, conclude that their interests are different from ours, or just stop caring about us?“, ask.
“Possibly, but this problem is no more urgent today than it was before the AI developments of the last few months.“, hill.