Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 28, 2015 at 12:41 PM

Bill Gates takes on AI, Bitcoin in Reddit chat

Bill Gates, in the latest stop on his January media campaign of sorts, took to Reddit to answer some of your burning questions.

Among the topics the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist addressed:

  • Microsoft’s recently unveiled  HoloLens is “pretty amazing,” but it will take a few years of software development for it to reach its full potential.
  • While digital currencies could be used to help the developing world get better access to banking, the anonymity of services like Bitcoin presents some problems.
  • The development of supercharged artificial intelligence could be worrying…

On the last point, Gates had this to say.

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.

It sounds like Gates could have — and probably has had, at some point — an interesting discussion on the matter with Eric Horvitz, the manager of Microsoft’s Redmond research lab. Horvitz yesterday shared his thoughts on artificial intelligence at length after receiving a prize for development of AI technology (work that, in practice at Microsoft, leads to things like the Cortana voice-activated assistant).

Horvitz is a member of the camp that believes the Terminator-style artificial intelligence apocalypses of fiction are far-fetched. Still, he says in an essay co-authored with the president of an artificial intelligence scientific society, “we still have a great deal of work to do to address the concerns and risks afoot with our growing reliance on AI systems.”

Comments | More in Bill Gates | Topics: bill gates, hololens, machine learning

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►