There have been some dour predictions about the potential of artificial intelligence from some high-profile technologists. For example, billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has said AI will be more dangerous than North Korea. Legendary physicist Stephen Hawking says that AI has the potential to be the “worst event in the history of our civilization.”
But billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has added a bit of levity to the conversation. Gates says AI will mean longer vacations.
“Well, certainly we can look forward to the idea that vacations will be longer at some point,” says Gates, speaking to FOX Business Network on Thursday at the World Economic Forum. Machine learning will make humans more productive and therefore able to accomplish the same amount of work in less time. That’s a good thing, says Gates.
“The purpose of humanity is not just to sit behind a counter and sell things. More free time is not a terrible thing,” says Gates.
Surveillance, security and transcription are several areas where machine learning will things faster and cheaper.
“AI is simply better software,” Gates continues. “In these high value environments — whether it is an operating room, a jail, a factory, a courthouse — you will be able to transcribe everything that is being said, and you will be able to see things if they are safety violations even a construction site.