Bill Gates reveals the next big thing in tech, and it's not metaverse

Did Mark bet his Zuckbucks on the wrong horse?
Ameya Paleja

Artificial Intelligence or AI is the next big tech shift that users can expect in the coming years, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said while interacting with a Reddit user last week. Gates thinks that metaverse and Web3 are revolutionary but not quite as much as AI.

Gates' comments come at a time when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appears to have splurged his riches on chasing a pipe dream with the concept of a digital universe where everybody logs in to connect, work, and play is not catching any traction anymore.

On the other hand, ChatGPT, a chatbot from OpenAI, has caught everybody's attention. Many feel it has the potential to even challenge the business model of Google, the world's go-to place to ask questions.

The rise of AI

AI, however, has grown far beyond offering solutions to search queries. Recently, Interesting Engineering reported how an AI system developed by a startup is scheduled to defend its first case in a U.S. court. In addition to poring over archaic data needed to prepare the defense, the AI is also expected to work in real-time and provide appropriate responses to the defendant over an earpiece.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has taken a leap of faith in the technology and is using AI to simulate war games for invasion operations in Taiwan, where U.S. naval ships are tracked, and electronic countermeasures are deployed. Even as the use of AI in warfare is a hotly debated topic, experts in China feel that it is okay to use the technology to deter the U.S. from taking any actions in the Taiwan region.

Thankfully, Gates does not have any such applications in mind when he talks about AI. Instead, he said that he was impressed with generative AI, the kind that creates novel content and wants to use AI for the work of his Foundation.

How AI can help

Gates is confident that AI can have a significant impact in the fields of education and healthcare. For instance, it could be used to tutor kids with math and make it interesting. In medicine, AI could help people get medical advice in regions where doctors are not accessible.

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When a user pointed out that the introduction of AI would lead to a loss of jobs for teachers and doctors, Gates disagreed by saying that the world needed more of them and not less.

Gates' outlook is also perhaps influenced by the work he continues to do with Microsoft, which as per reports, is looking to invest another $10 billion into OpenAI. However, he is not the only one talking about AI. The recently concluded CES 2023 had a host of new applications that used AI, ranging from pet health monitoring services to those that can track humans on the road while you drive.

From helping you put your makeup on to keeping your memories alive for a future generation, AI is being used across various industries and is giving rise to new ones. Metaverse and virtual reality are quite revolutionary but might not be enough to cause a paradigm shift in the tech space in the coming years.