AI can improve healthcare and agriculture

Bill Gates has recently spent a lot of time thinking about artificial intelligence, and now he has written down his thoughts.

The man behind Microsoft recently published a seven-page letter titled “The Age of AI has Begun.” In the letter, he describes his thoughts on the future of AI.

He writes that the development of AI is “as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet and the mobile phone.”

The letter came on the same day that Google launched its chatbot, Bard, which competes with Microsoft’s Bing for AI dominance, and just a week after Open AI, the creator of ChatGPT, announced the GPT-4 version of its AI model, which many have been waiting for.

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Many positive aspects of AI

Gates has previously talked about his fascination with the future of AI and how it can be used as a kind of tutor in education or offer medical advice to people in areas where it may be difficult to get a consultation with a real doctor.

The billionaire also acknowledges in the letter that there are certain concerns about artificial intelligence, including the risk that certain people will abuse it, as well as the possibility that a super-intelligent or “strong” AI can “establish its own goals” in line with, that AI technology will improve.

In the letter, Gates goes a little more into those issues by discussing with himself how AI can be used both as a tool to improve people’s productivity, and can also help improve global inequalities in work, health and education.

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Personal assistant for employees

Gates describes how AI can be used in the labor market as a “digital personal assistant” to increase employee productivity, something he has also talked about in the past.

Integrated into digital tools such as Microsoft Office, AI can help handle and write e-mails, Gates writes in his letter. He describes how these AI-generated “personal agents”, equipped with knowledge and data about his company and industry, can function as a resource that the employees can communicate with.

He elaborates that as computing power becomes cheaper, GPT’s ability to express ideas will increasingly be like having an employee available to help you with various tasks.

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Better healthcare

In the healthcare sector, Gates believes that AI can free employees from certain tasks such as filing, paperwork and rewriting doctors’ notes – instead, doctors and nurses can focus on the most important thing, namely healthcare.

In poor countries where many never see a doctor, AI can help healthcare workers be more productive when seeing patients. It is possible that AI can also help in the treatment of those patients who live far from health facilities.

AI is already used in the healthcare sector to analyze medical data and design drugs, writes Gates, but the next generation of AI tools can help predict side effects of medication and calculate the dosage.

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Can help agriculture in poor countries

In poor countries, Gates believes that AI can help agriculture with designing semen tailored to the local climate and developing vaccines for the livestock.

It is a development that can be important as extreme weather and climate change increase and put more pressure on agriculture in low-income countries.

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