Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates predicted that Africa may adopt AI fully in three years.

This was stated in a six-page blog post outlining his predictions for the future impact of technology on healthcare, education, and the workforce.

Gates predicted that AI development was about to “supercharge” the innovation pipeline.

“Innovation is the reason our lives have improved so much over the last century,” he wrote. “From electricity and cars to medicine and planes, innovation has made the world better.”

He suggested that high-income countries such as the US were around 18 to 24 months away from significant adoption of AI.

While he predicted a lag when it came to African countries making general use of the tech, he said he expected to see similar levels of adoption in around three years.

Here’s how Gates thinks AI will shape the near future.

AI at work
Gates shared that compared to previous years, the world has a better sense of what jobs AI will be able to do itself and which ones it will serve as a copilot for.

Numerous studies conducted this year have tried to pinpoint which skills and sectors would be the most impacted by advanced AI. There’s already evidence that using the tech as a copilot at work can help employees get ahead. Several companies have developed internal AI tools to boost employees while others encourage workers to use publicly available technology.

In the blog post, Gates acknowledged he didn’t have it all figured out when it came to AI in the workplace. “If you haven’t figured out how to make the best use of AI yet, you are not alone,” he wrote, adding that old habits are hard to break at work.

AI in education

  • Gates previously predicted that AI could transform education in the next five to 10 years by delivering content tailored to a student’s learning style.
  • He suggested AI could engage students by learning what motivates them and what causes them to lose interest in subjects. While he said teachers likely wouldn’t become redundant, they may need to adapt to the new technology.
  • In his most recent post, Gates called the AI education tools being piloted today “mind-blowing.” He described tools like Khanmigo and MATHia as remarkable and predicted they would only improve in the years ahead.
  • He’s excited about the possibility of localizing the technology to students around the world, pointing to AI tutors who have been designed with specific cultural contexts in mind.

AI in healthcare

  • Gates also laid out several medical questions that scientists around the world were trying to use AI to answer. He said the work was ambitious and in an early stage of development.
  • Gates believed that most of it wouldn’t emerge in the next year and some may not leave the lab at all. He said the work was setting the stage “for a massive technology boom later this decade.”
  • A few of the projects Gates named attempted to use AI to combat antibiotic resistance, treat high-risk pregnancies, and help people assess their risk for HIV.

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