Bill Gates Signals Use of Artificial Intelligence in Philanthropy

Bill Gates Signals Use of Artificial Intelligence in Philanthropy (photo: ALI CHERKIS - Wired)

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has suggested that he may use artificial intelligence (AI) in his philanthropic work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Despite acknowledging the potential risks and ethical dilemmas surrounding AI, Gates has recommended several ways in which humanity can utilize AI to address various societal issues.

Gates specifically highlighted inequality and climate change as areas where AI could play a crucial role. He recognizes that AI can help address some of the most pressing challenges facing the world, including the growing inequality gap and the negative effects of climate change.

However, he also acknowledges the numerous risks associated with the widespread use of AI, including issues surrounding employment, legal systems, privacy, bias, and more.

“Any new technology that disrupts existing systems is bound to make people uncomfortable, and that holds true for AI as well,” Gates said.

Gates has been thinking for some time about how AI can reduce the world’s worst inequalities. Similarly, he believes that AI can help combat the effects of climate change.

In the United States, for example, the best opportunity to reduce inequality is by improving education, especially in mathematics, to ensure that children succeed.

“Evidence shows that having a basic understanding of math makes children successful in any career they choose. However, math achievement is declining across the country, especially for black, Latin American, and low-income students. AI can help reverse that trend,” he explained.

While he has not yet discovered the significant connection between AI and climate change, Gates believes that the technology can help reduce inequality for the poorest people who are most affected, even though they contribute the least to the climate crisis.

“The injustice of climate change is that those who suffer the most—the poorest people in the world—are also those who contribute the least to this problem. I am still thinking and learning about how AI can help,” he said.

Through his statements, Gates seems to be indicating that he will involve AI in the social actions carried out by his foundation.

“This foundation will talk more about AI in the coming months,” Gates continued.

Gates also emphasized that the world needs to ensure that the benefits of AI are felt by everyone, not just the wealthy. He believes that governments and philanthropic institutions need to play a central role in ensuring that AI reduces inequality and does not contribute to it.

“This is a priority for my own work related to AI,” he said.