Last Updated: March 02, 2023, 16:16 IST
ChatGPT is a “very, very valuable tool”, said billionnaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is on his first tour of India since the Covid pandemic.
“The leadership at Microsoft, Satya Nadella and others at Open AI engaged me in looking at ChatGPT. I am very enthused by it. It’s amazing. Sometimes it doesn’t get it right. But it surprises you. Artificial intelligence (AI) up until now could recognise photos and speech. But it could not read or write. GPT has done that. It is a very, very valuable tool.”
Elaborating on the job loss fears, Gates said, “We had the same dilemma when calculators came along. But we have to see the good parts. AI can take any paper and give you suggestions. But it is still important for people to know how to write, just like they need to know mathematics.”
“Many jobs have evolved…There are many unmet needs in health and education. In agriculture,90% of the jobs have gone, but they have found better skilled jobs. The governments need to engage in AI to solve a lot of policy questions.”
It was great to visit the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and learn about the advanced technologies being used to develop climate-smart crops in India. I am thrilled to see India make progress on innovations that can help farmers globally. pic.twitter.com/bHji4HzLzW— Bill Gates (@BillGates) March 1, 2023
While “very negative” on cryptocurrency, Gates said, “Metaverse is valuable, but maybe not revolutionary. AI will be the big change agent.”
Gates appreciated India’s Covid-19 management, vaccination drive and digital health initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
“The world was not ready for Covid-19. It is still making up for the deaths due to Covid. We will take lessons and be better prepared. India is an example on dealing with Covid, both for diagnostics and vaccines. Surveillance is key. It wasn’t very strong during Covid. We have learnt that to be able to detect the next pandemic early, it is best to contain it before it spreads. We will do a lot better next time.”
Wonderful meeting with @BillGates.He appreciated India’s COVID-19 Management, Vaccination Drive & Digital Health initiatives like Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
We discussed about India’s G20 health priorities, PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana and eSanjeevani. pic.twitter.com/hIB8zDxeVS
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) March 1, 2023
“I doubt we will ever know fully the origins of Covid. I think it was naturally transmitted. Our labs should be safe. We should be tracking animal reservoirs. Most diseases have come to humans from animals — from HIV to rabies to Ebola to Covid.”
ON RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR
Gates said that dislocations from Ukraine war are not good. “Food and fertilizer prices going up is not good. Aid to Africa will be cut as a fallout,” he said.
I’m a big believer in free trade. Having India, China and the US get along well would be the best thing for humanity…
INDIA’s DIGITAL ADVANCEMENTS
Under the G20 presidency of India, a session on ‘Building resilient and inclusive economies- the Promise of Digital Public Infrastructure’ was held in New Delhi on Wednesday, where Gates spoke of India’s digital identity Aadhaar, its payment infrastructure, and rapid strides the country has made in bringing more people into the formal banking system. Gates said India should send the technology to other countries to adopt and benefit.
“India heading G20 is good. India’s advances in digitization are great…Aadhaar is great. But to add financial payment instruments on top of it is great,” he said.
According to Gates, there is a lot of interest in India as a manufacturing base. “Historically, issues around land and labour made it not that attractive. But it should become an alternative site for manufacturing. I’m a big believer in free trade. Having India, China and the US get along well would be the best thing for humanity.”
Commenting on the IT revolution, Gates said, “It was definitely a backlash to globalisation. But we have to preserve the benefits of it. IT revolution was great.”
On Elon Musk’s contribution, Gates said, “Elon’s done a great job at SpaceX and Tesla. The jury is out on his contributions at Twitter.”
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