Bill Gates, the illustrious founder of Microsoft, is not a big fan of the metaverse. On the other hand, the billionaire is full of praise for generative artificial intelligence like ChatGPT.
As every year, Bill Gates hosts a question and answer session The social network Reddit. Unsurprisingly, the founder of Microsoft was bombarded with questions from Internet users. One of them interrogated the billionaire, who remained one of the ten richest people in the worldabout the metaverse.
Metaverse, a fake revolution?
The computer scientist did not hide his skepticism about accessible worlds in virtual and augmented reality. According to him, web 3this decentralized version of the internet that relies on blockchains is not such a breakthrough:
“I don’t think Web3 is that important or just the metaverse is revolutionary.”
This is not the first time that Bill Gates participates in Web 3. Last year, he harshly criticized one of the key elements of the metaverse : non-volatile tokens (NFT). In his eyes, the entire NFT market is just a big speculative bubble without the slightest interest.
In his Reddit responses, Bill Gates doesn’t seem to completely dismiss the metaverse. Moderate, the billionaire is pleased to estimate that the revolution promised by virtual worlds will have the need for other innovations to reach its ends. The Metaverse, as represented by Meta and its competitors, is not as big a revolution as the Internet was, according to Gates.
By the end of 2021, he had however prophesied the arrival of dating in the metaverse. As part of it Annual reviewBill Gates pretended to wait a major revolution in office workaccelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic:
“Over the next two or three years, I predict that most virtual meetings will move from camera image networks to 2D. […] to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars”.
A glimpse of the future
On the other hand, Bill Gates was very enthusiastic artificial intelligence. For the IT pioneer, AI is ” quite revolutionary. He said he was impressed by generative intelligence capabilities such as OpenAI’s indispensable ChatGPT, which generated enthusiasm in recent weeks :
“It gives a glimpse of what’s to come. I am impressed by this whole approach and the level of innovation”.
Mirroring its co-founder, Microsoft was very interested in ChatGPT’s success. Before the launch of the chatbot, the American firm invested 1 billion dollars to finance the start-up. Microsoft would consider pour in another $10 billion hoping to integrate ChatGPT into some of its products. For example, the company would like add chatbot to Bing, its search engine, to compete with Google. Generative AI would also come enrich software such as PowerPoint, Word and Outlook.
“I still work with Microsoft, so I follow it closely”says Bill Gates.
He believes that artificial intelligence will have a big influence in the world. The philanthropist imagines that a smart chatbot could come eventually help teachers or doctors. Better than a human, an AI would be able to spark children’s interest in math, Gates explains. Similarly, technology can provide medical assistance for “ people in Africa who don’t have access to a doctor”. Of course, Bill Gates is studying these possibilities in the framework of the actions of the Bill-and-Melinda-Gates philanthropic foundation, dedicated to the fight against poverty and disease.