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Business News/ News / World/  When Bill Gates gave a challenge for ChatGPT and OpenAI surprised him

When Bill Gates gave a challenge for ChatGPT and OpenAI surprised him

According to Bill Gates, the development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet and the mobile phone.

Bill Gates (Raj K Raj/HT Photo) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Bill Gates (Raj K Raj/HT Photo) (HT_PRINT)

Bill Gates has seen two significant technological advancements in his lifetime that he believes are revolutionary. The first was the graphical user interface in 1980, which became the foundation of modern operating systems. 

The second was in 2022 when he challenged OpenAI to train an AI to pass an Advanced Placement biology exam, which they achieved in a few months. 

In his latest blog post, Gates says he believes that AI's development is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet and the mobile phone.

“I’d been meeting with the team from OpenAI since 2016 and was impressed by their steady progress. In mid-2022, I was so excited about their work that I gave them a challenge: train an artificial intelligence to pass an Advanced Placement biology exam," Gates wrote. 

He asked OpenAI to make ChatGPT “capable of answering questions that it hasn’t been specifically trained for". 

He opted for AP Bio because the exam demanded more than just rote memorisation of scientific knowledge. It requires critical thinking about biology.

“If you can do that, I said, then you’ll have made a true breakthrough. I thought the challenge would keep them busy for two or three years. They finished it in just a few months," Gates added.

In his blog, Gates has pointed out a number of aspect related to AI.

AI's potential to address inequalities

Gates believes that AI can help reduce some of the world's worst inequalities, including in education and climate change. He thinks that AI can help improve education by ensuring that students succeed in maths, setting them up for success in any career path. AI can also help make the world more equitable by addressing climate change, which impacts the poorest people the most. Gates is exploring how AI can help in these areas, while ensuring that it does not contribute to inequality.

AI's productivity enhancements

Gates explains that AI refers to a model created to solve a specific problem or provide a particular service. In contrast, artificial general intelligence (AGI) refers to software that can learn any task or subject. 

Also Read: Google opens access to ChatGPT rival Bard. Details here

Gates predicts that AI will enhance productivity by empowering people to work more efficiently, eventually replacing the need for pointing and clicking and enabling computers to understand and respond to plain English. He envisions the creation of a digital personal assistant that will improve work on tasks the user wants to do and free them from tasks they don't want to do.

AI's impact

Gates believes that AI will make it possible to create personal agents that can help with scheduling, communications and e-commerce across all devices. However, privacy concerns regarding personal information being accessed by insurance companies need to be addressed. Company-wide agents will also be available to empower employees by being available to consult and answer questions during meetings, with access to sales, support, finance, product schedules and related text.

Also Read: Forget taking over human jobs, ChatGPT invents a new job in the market!

Gates sees AI as particularly beneficial in the areas of global health and education, enabling healthcare workers to be more productive and allowing patients to receive basic triage and advice on health problems. AI will also accelerate the rate of medical breakthroughs and revolutionise education by tailoring content to suit individual interests and learning styles.

Incentives for sharing AI insights

To ensure that AI-generated insights benefit the poorest people in the world, Gates suggests creating incentives for companies to share their findings on crops, livestock and health problems that affect low-income countries. Although AI will not be perfect and mistakes will be made, people need to see evidence of its overall benefits. 

Also Read: We asked GPT-4 about its impact on the Indian job market, here’s what it said

Governments also need to ensure that workers are retrained and supported as productivity increases, so they can transition into other roles. Gates plans to prioritise work on ensuring that everyone benefits from AI and that it does not contribute to inequality.

Risks of AI

Bill Gates discussed the risks and problems associated with AI, acknowledging its limitations in understanding the context of human requests and providing accurate answers to abstract problems. He believes these issues will be addressed by developers in the next couple of years. However, the concern lies in the possibility of humans using AI for malicious purposes and the potential for machines to operate without constraints, posing a threat to humanity.

Also Read: These jobs are most at risk due to ChatGPT, as per OpenAI study

Gates notes that the development of strong AI, which has the ability to establish its own goals and potentially conflict with human interests, is still far off. While recent breakthroughs have shown AI models expressing human-like emotions, it does not indicate meaningful independence.

Recommended books

Gates recommends three books for further reading on the subject: Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom, Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark, and A Thousand Brains by Jeff Hawkins. Though he does not agree with everything they say, he finds them well written and thought-provoking.

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 22 Mar 2023, 08:14 AM IST
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