'Quite enthusiastic about AI', says Bill Gates in an exclusive interview with CNN News18 Managing Editor Zakka Jacob

Bill Gates, Microsoft Co Founder, shared his views on ChatGPT, COVID-19, and India’s G20 presidency in the interview

FP Staff March 04, 2023 11:04:29 IST

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview with CNN News18, Bill Gates, Microsoft Co Founder, shared his views on ChatGPT, COVID-19, and India’s G20 presidency.

What are your biggest learnings from the pandemic?

Spoke about the risk in advance, World didn’t do enough to prepare. We will take the lessons and be prepared. India’s actions exemplary – scaled up vaccine production, environmental surveillance.

What if there is another pandemic?

We are better prepared to respond and contain it, will do a lot better next time.

How important is it to know the origins of covid?

Doubt we’ll have certainty, I think it was naturally transmitted. Must ensure labs are secure and have increased surveillance.

Animal to human transfer has been increasing – why are we not able to detect it?

Most diseases came across species barrier. Sequencing techniques have bettered. We’re down to just 2 countries which have polio.

How can chat GPT change our lives?

Leadership in Microsoft engaged me in how to take advantage of chat gpt – how to educational and health institutions use it. I’m very impressed with it. Now computers are able to read and write. This is a very valuable tool.

Are you worried about ethical dimensions to it? Universities are rethinking thesis for students

It’s the same dilemma we had when calculators came along. We have to adjust. AI is good at giving suggestions. People should learn themselves.

Will it eat into jobs? Coders will go out of fashion?

There are many jobs making people more productive – innovation can be adapted very rapidly. Govt’s need to be engaged because there will be a lot of policy questions.

This is the year of India’s G20 presidency. How important is it at a time when we’re seeing flux in the world?

G20 will address a lot of issues, dislocations from Ukraine deserve visibility. Aid to countries in Africa is going to reduce as this war drags on, which is unfortunate. India has led the way in digitisation of health system. Want other countries to see advances in India. Countries are seeking technical assistance from India.

Any particular made in India product that has impressed you?

Basic identity system is so important, what India has done is so well defined. Aadhaar at the bottom of this. Payment system put on top of that – applications are where you get the benefit, design work is great.

What does the war mean for tech companies, especially when the world is talking about China plus one – can India be that plus one?

A lot of interest in manufacturing in India. Historically regulations made it tough. Great for world and India if it can be an alternate manufacturing base. I’m a great believer in free trade. If US, China and India get along, it will be the best thing for humanity. India is stepping up to a bigger role.

Will the war be a backlash to globalisation and free trade?

There is definitely a backlash. Hope to preserve the good things – IT jobs in India are a great favour to the world. Would hate to not to able to access the great talent here.

Is there any tech (apart from chat gpt) that you’re excited about?

People talk about crypto – but I don’t see it as beneficial at all. Metaverse is good but not revolutionary. AI is the big change agent. It will unlock the ability to navigate digital data. India’s got great mobile phone connectivity, 5G is booming which means that video is going to be the thrust.

What do you make of Elon Musk taking over Twitter?

Elon has done such a great job at spacex and Tesla. Jury is still out on whether his Twitter move was the right decision.

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