In an interview published on Thursday with Handelsblatt, a German news media outlet, Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates said artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to help solve “digital misinformation” and “political polarization” problems, Breitbart reported.
Handelsblatt’s chief editor Sebastian Matthes discussed the disruptive potential of AI with Bill Gates, as well as the future of energy supply and the topic of how new technologies are changing the world of work.
“I’m certainly concerned about political polarization, and I know the U.S. situation best of all. I wouldn’t have expected people to attack the Capitol [on Jan. 6, 2021], or people to deny the validity of election results. I‘m in a state of shock about that,” Gates said in response to a question about the spreading of “misinformation” via AI.
“We can’t blame AI for that. That happened. It may have been magnified by digital channels that allow various conspiracy theories like QAnon or whatever to be blasted out by people who wanted to believe those things. So, the digital tools may have played an auxiliary role,” he continued.
When asked if he was concerned about AI spreading disinformation, Gates said it was more of a future problem than a current one, and that AI might be used to fix the “misinformation” that exists today.
“It could, in the future. That’s not the phenomena that we have today,” Gates said. “How are we [going to] solve the digital misinformation that is a factor in polarization? You’ll have to take AI into consideration.”
Gates added that his generation is yet to solve the issue of “misinformation that digital channels can magnify. People can just have confirmation bias of only seeing the stuff they agree with and get kind of outraged in a way that drives political polarization,” Epoch Times reported.
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Gates framed “climate change” as an existential threat to humanity while calling for government measures to force reductions and eventual elimination of fossil fuel consumption and associated carbon dioxide emissions.
“It’s not optional to have a solution for climate,” he held, adding that carbon dioxide emissions must be brought “to zero” via “clean energy” and “green energy” substitutes.
Development of reliable and affordable energy is in harmony with governmental pursuits of eliminating fossil fuels and development of “green infrastructure,” Gates claimed.
He concluded by speculating that the Russia-Ukraine war could “energize the recognition” of the supposed need to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions via oil and gas consumption.
“It’s now seen that in the 10- to 20-year-time frame that the goals of climate and the goals of energy security align, he stated, “to say that investment in green infrastructure is even more of a priority than it was before the war.”