At his third Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on social networking and news site Reddit, former Microsoft boss Bill Gates expressed concern about machine super intelligence in the decades to come. He also outlined Microsoft’s plans for artificial intelligence in the more immediate future.
Question to Bill Gates: How much of an existential threat do you think machine super intelligence will be?
Bill Gates: I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.
Question: 2015 will mark the 30th anniversary of Microsoft Windows. What do you think the next 30 years holds in terms of technology? What will personal computing will look like in 2045?
Bill Gates: There will be more progress in the next 30 years than ever. Even in the next 10 problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good. Mechanical robot tasks like picking fruit or moving a hospital patient will be solved. Once computers/robots get to a level of capability where seeing and moving is easy for them then they will be used very extensively.
One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to. The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this. It will work across all your devices.
More on this from COSMOS: Special edition: Robots and AI