While most companies around the world are still contemplating whether to try out a 4-day work week, Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, has proposed a vision of a future where a three-day workweek is plausible, with machines taking on various tasks, including food preparation and chores.
In a recent conversation with South African comedian and writer Trevor Noah on the podcast ‘What Now,’ Gates challenged the common fear that artificial intelligence (AI) would replace human jobs, stating that AI will instead “change it forever.”
During the 45-minute discussion, Gates expressed optimism about the broader impact of AI on society, highlighting its potential to enhance productivity.
He believes that if the transition to a more automated workforce occurs at a manageable pace with adequate government support, it could lead to a society requiring less manual labour, allowing people more leisure time.
Gates also emphasized AI’s potential benefits in fields such as programming, testing, and healthcare, where it could streamline processes and reduce paperwork for medical professionals.
However, he acknowledged the challenges of fully understanding AI, citing examples of basic mathematical errors made by AI systems.
While Gates sees AI as a tool with the power to revolutionize sectors like healthcare and education globally, he also expressed concerns about its potential misuse, particularly in the form of deepfakes and cyberattacks.
He highlighted the dual nature of AI, serving as both a tool for empowerment and a potential source of polarization.
This is not the first time Gates has discussed his views on AI. In a lengthy blog post in March, he outlined his perspective on AI’s merits, drawing parallels with the historical impact of microprocessors and the internet.
Gates emphasized AI’s potential to address global inequities in education while acknowledging associated risks such as factual inaccuracies and potential misuse.