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Bill Gates Says We Shouldn’t Panic About Artificial Intelligence

“This is a case where Elon and I disagree.”

Dom GaleonSeptember 26th 2017

Everyone Has An Opinion

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of today’s hottest topics. In fact, it’s so hot that many of the tech industry’s heavyweights — Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. — have been investing huge sums of money to improve their machine-learning technologies.

An ongoing debate rages on alongside all this AI development, and in one corner is SpaceX CEO and OpenAI co-chairman Elon Musk, who has been issuing repeated warnings about AI as a potential threat to humankind’s existence.

Types of AI: From Reactive to Self-Aware [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

Speaking to a group of U.S. governors a couple of months back, Musk again warned about the dangers of unregulated AI. This was criticized by those on the other side of the debate as “fear-mongering,” and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explicitly called Musk out for it.

Now, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is sharing his opinion on Musk’s assertions.

In a rare joint interview with Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella, Gates told WSJ. Magazine that the subject of AI is “a case where Elon and I disagree.” According to Gates, “The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn’t something that people should feel is imminent. We shouldn’t panic about it.”

Fear Of AI?

While the perks of AI are rather obvious — optimized processes, autonomous vehicles, and generally smarter machines — Musk is simply pointing out the other side of the coin. With some nations intent on developing autonomous weapons systems, irresponsible AI development has an undeniable potential for destruction. Musk’s strong language may make him sound like he’s overreacting, but is he?

As he’s always been sure to point out, Musk isn’t against AI. All he’s advocating is informed policy-making to ensure that these potential dangers don’t get in the way of the benefits AI can deliver.

In that, Musk isn’t alone. Not all experts think his warnings are farfetched, and several have joined Musk in sending an open-letter to the United Nations about the need for clear policies to govern AI. Even before that, other groups of AI experts had called for the same.

Judging by what Nadella told the WSJ. Magazine, much of this conflict may actually be mostly imagined. “The core AI principle that guides us at this stage is: How do we bet on humans and enhance their capability? There are still a lot of design decisions that get made, even in a self-learning system, that humans can be accountable for,” he said.

“There’s a lot I think we can do to shape our own future instead of thinking, ‘This is just going to happen to us’,” Nadella added. “Control is a choice. We should try to keep that control.”

In the end, it’s not so much AI itself that we should watch out for. It’s how human beings use it. The enemy here is not technology. It’s recklessness.

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/ Artificial Intelligence
/ Artificial Intelligence
/ Bill Gates
/ Elon Musk


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This Latin American Country Could Adopt Bitcoin as an Official Currency

The decision could help them combat hyperinflation issues.

Kyree LearySeptember 26th 2017

From Bolivars To Bitcoin

In order to deal with ever-growing issues with hyperinflation, the country of Venezuela may soon decide to adopt a new currency: Bitcoin.

As explained by CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin has been the subject of a massive amount of mining and purchasing over the last few months, leading to a number of rumors regarding the country’s desire to incorporate it into their financial structure.

According to Daniel Osorio, from Andean Capital Advisors, Venezuela may be on the verge of forgoing their Bolivar currency. During an interview last week, he told CNBC“we may well be witnessing the first ‘Bitcoinization’ of a sovereign state.”

Osorio went on to explain that Venezuela is more than a week behind on a substantial bond interest payment. At present, it doesn’t have the money to address it or manage the economy. A simple lunch can now cost up to 200,000 Bolivars ($8-$10) prompting people to resort to using Bitcoin or money wires of other foreign currency. Bitcoin is appealing because it’s independent of the black market and tied to a fixed exchange platform, making it difficult to exploit.

First In Line

In August, Venezuela was listed as the top country with a failing currency ahead of Colombia and Argentina, with all ten countries listed expected to turn to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the near future.

The “bitcoinization” of Venezuela hasn’t happened, despite what many would like to say, so we’ll have to wait to see what actually becomes of the situation. If it does completely shift, however, it could be used as another selling point to get people to adopt the biggest crypto out there.

/ Future Society
/ Bitcoin
/ Cryptocurrencies
/ Hyperinflation

plysuikvv/Adobe Stock

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Documentary now

From the cutting room floor

By Bill Gates | September 20, 2019

Over the last couple of years, I participated in a Netflix series called Inside Bill’s Brain looking at my work and portions of my life. It was fun to spend time with the filmmaker Davis Guggenheim answering questions both serious and silly, and helping him explore my motivations and memories. I hope many people will watch and learn more about the amazing job I’m lucky to have and the people I’m able to meet through this journey Melinda and I find ourselves on as philanthropists. The series is made up of three episodes and is available now on Netflix.

Working on this project gave me a deep regard for how much time and effort goes into crafting a documentary. Filmmakers spend many hours behind the camera to get just a few minutes of the stuff that makes it into the film that viewers see. So much is left on the cutting-room floor. As the project wound down, I decided I’d pick up some of the stories that didn’t make it, ones that I think complement what you’ll see on Netflix. In some cases, the stories I’ll post dive deeper into an issue raised by the documentary. In others, I’ll give the history of why I made an important decision. In all cases, I hope I can show a little bit about myself and the joy I get from trying to help solve the puzzles we face in advancing the human condition.The day I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my lifeHow giving a speech helped me focus on philanthropy.A bet on humanity worth every dollarThe story behind one of the riskiest ventures our foundation has ever attempted.How I test bold ideasA lesson I took from the Wright brothers and their leap of reason that changed the world.Gates Notes Insiders get exclusive access to three stories from the cutting room floor of Inside Bill’s Brain.To read the stories and watch bonus videos, log in or sign up.Become an InsiderLog in

The day I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life
Finding my voice in the fight against malaria
Also on Gates NotesThe side of Paul Allen I wish more people knew aboutI had the opportunity to talk about Paul (and show some photos!) at the Forbes…Grilling and chilling with WarrenLearn what Warren Buffett and a Dairy Queen Blizzard have in common.Looking for a summer read? Try one of these 5 booksI can’t recommend these books highly enough.What I learned at work this yearThoughts on Alzheimer’s, climate change, polio, and more.The day I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my lifeHow giving a speech helped me decide to focus on philanthropy.A bet on humanity worth every dollarThe story behind one of the riskiest ventures our foundation has ever attempted.How I test bold ideasA lesson I took from the Wright brothers and their leap of reason that changed the world.Can romance improve your odds of survival?Blueprint by Nicholas Christakis is a fascinating look at human behavior.What the plow and lab-grown meat tell us about innovationI was honored to guest curate MIT Technology Review’s 2019 breakthrough technology issue.We didn’t see this comingNine surprises that have inspired us to act.Bots, britches, and beesA Harvard robotics lab challenges popular images of robots.A new way to look at LeonardoThis one-of-a-kind device brings you closer to one of history’s greatest thinkers.5 books I loved in 2018There’s something for everyone on my end-of-year book list.Educated is even better than you’ve heardMelinda and I loved Tara Westover’s journey from the mountains of Idaho to the halls of Cambridge.A guide to worrying in the 21st centuryYuval Noah Harari has written another thought-provoking book.Why I’m into meditationAndy Puddicombe has written a great guide to focusing your thoughts.I couldn’t put down this thriller with a tragic endingThe inside story of the Theranos scandal is almost too wild to believe.When ballistic missiles can seeThis book educated me about the pros and cons of autonomous weapons.If you want to understand Silicon Valley, watch Silicon ValleyThe HBO series gets the tech industry just right.What I loved about Paul AllenRemembering my friend and first business partner.Comments

Avatar for Sebastian Alin Seling

Sebastian Alin Seling 39 minutes

Dear Bill, following your extensive research and philanthropic work. I WOULD like to mention that in Romania there is a brilliant Inventor who needs support.. He invented a technology that turns garbage into jet fuel and have 0 carbon emissions. The Romanian government could not provide him with environmental licenses as they did not understand his technology and his business dried up as he run out of monies. With support from Melinda and Bill gates foundation I believe we can export this technology all around the world and help fight the climate change and waste disposal. His name is Costin Francu from Brasov city Romania. There are lots of articles about him world wide.1 • Reply • 

Avatar for Sebastian Alin Seling

Sebastian Alin Seling 44 minutes

Please read this!!• Reply • 

Avatar for Sebastian Alin Seling

Sebastian Alin Seling 45 minutes

!!!! PLEASE READ THIS!!!• Reply • 

Avatar for Sourav Majumdar

Sourav Majumdar 1 hour

Incredible documentary! I was extremely saddened to learn of Terrapowers’s recent roadblock. I hope the world is able to benefit of this technology.• Reply • 

Avatar for David L Wenbert

David L Wenbert 4 hours

After the many, Many times over the past 30 years we’ve cursed you over every little glitch and frustration with Windows or Office or some business practice we perceived [at the time] as ‘egregious’, I feel bound to confess that, looking back over the decade, and the rise of Google, Youtube, Facebook & Twitter, that you were a *Saint* compared with the Techlords of today. Miscues, as to privacy or respect for the users or business faith with partners and vendors, made by Microsoft in error or without thought are now rendered as premeditated deliberate *intent* by Google and Facebook and their subsidiaries – and far worse. Before we’re all Borg- Assimilated and ‘Eaten by Robots’, I hope you will devote some effort toward conjuring up a path forward to ensure Human Continuity, that doesn’t necessitate us all being jacked-in to the Hive Mind with neurotech. DeGaris was right, you know; you can see the Artillect War taking shape all around us. Trump’s MAGAts are the ‘Terrans’, and the Left’s Proglodytes are the ‘Cosmists’. Perhaps only you can talk Silicon Valley down off the ledge, before the situation gets any more out of hand.• Reply • 

Open Comments (184)BECOME AN INSIDERJoin the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, join the discussion and subscribe to your favorite topics.SIGN UP    This is my personal blog, where I share about the people I meet, the books I’m reading, and what I’m learning. I hope that you’ll join the conversation.

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