Bill Gates praises artificial intelligence in blog post, calling it 'revolutionary'

AI will change people's lives, according to Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Tuesday described artificial intelligence (AI) as "revolutionary" and said it will need "rules of the road" as it continues to develop.

In a Tuesday blog post, Gates touted AI, saying it will change how people live and how industries and businesses operate. He called its development "as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 03: Bill Gates discusses his new book 'How To Prevent The Next Pandemic' onstage at 92Y on May 03, 2022 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Three areas where Gates argued AI could provide major benefits included productivity, health care and education. He suggested it could boost efficiencies and provide various forms of assistance in those areas. 

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For health and education, particularly, he also said AI could "help reduce inequity if it is properly targeted."

Recently, companies have been developing AI or adding features to their products that utilize it, something Gates noted in his blog post. 

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One area of AI — generative AI — has been making headlines in recent months due to attention on ChatGPT, a chatbot made by OpenAI that can respond to user questions and create other content on a wide array of subjects. OpenAI is Microsoft-backed. 

Google has begun launching its own Bard AI. 

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Some companies that have been bringing AI into their features include Salesforce making ChatGPT available for Slack, Spotify rolling out an AI DJ and Snap adding My AI. Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg also recently formed an AI-focused team he said was for "building creative and expressive tools" in the short-term and "developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways" in the long-term.

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, addresses guests during the Oslo Energy Forum OEF 2023 at the Oslo City Hall on February 14, 2023.  (OLE BERG-RUSTEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

While Gates did praise AI, the Microsoft co-founder did also recognize as "understandable and valid" worries and downsides to AI that some have pointed to.

Some of the issues about AIs he noted included them sometimes being inaccurate, experiencing so-called "hallucinations" and not picking up on context properly, according to the blog post. Gates said the technical issues can and are going to be addressed. 

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Gates suggested governments and private companies should collaborate to "limit the risks" of people potentially using AI for bad purposes.

Bill Gates Smiles Thoughtfully

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates listens during a news conference with fellow U.S. executives about their group's recommendations to Congress and the president to revolutionize U.S. energy innovation at the Newseum in Washington June 10, 2010. (REUTERS/ (Reuters Photos)

In the blog, Gates called for establishing "rules of the road" so "any downsides of artificial intelligence are far outweighed by its benefits" and "everyone can enjoy" them no matter their circumstances. Governments and philanthropies, he said earlier in the post, will have important parts in regards to that.

The "Age of AI," Gates concluded, is "filled with opportunities and responsibilities."

Joe Toppe contributed to this report.