After 40 Years, PC Magazine Runs Another Interview With Bill Gates
PC Magazine has published a new interview with Bill Gates, 40 years after the first, when the Microsoft founder was 26 years old and working on the first IBM Personal Computer (PC), Wendy Sheehan Donnell wrote.
Photo Insert: Bill Gates was 26 years old when last interviewed by the prestigious tech magazine
According to Donnell, Gates was astounded by what the PCs had accomplished. “The revolutionary concept of software as an amazing tool was the whole idea that Paul Allen and I built our company around.
"When Microsoft got started in 1975, our dream was a computer on every desk and in every home. We knew that the miracle advances in chips and the software that could be built because of those magic chips would make everyone want to use a computer. Later, we talked about information at your fingertips. Of course, it’s gone beyond that original dream with cell phones and sensors. But it still comes back to so much early important work driven by chips and great software,” Gates said.
“Computers are so mainstream now and so integral to our lives that a lot of people forget that the early users and the people who really believed in personal computers back in the day were a relatively small group of dedicated, nerdy hobbyists. There were various clubs like the Home Brew Computer Club where groups would get together and talk about the latest advances. PC Magazine really helped bridge the gap between the hobbyists and a much larger audience of people looking for more usable and accessible computers,” he told Donnell. “With AI, there’s huge potential to do good in the world, but it’s also important to be cautious and make sure it’s being developed in the right way. Microsoft and OpenAI have a smart approach to that. The younger generation is more educated and more aware of societal problems, and I’m optimistic that they can contribute to solutions. It will take a lot of brilliant minds and ideas.”
Gates stressed that by 2062, this combination of powerful chips and software will be all over the world.
“Eventually, we’ll get glasses with augmented reality that is adopted broadly, and we’ll get robots that are more than simple task-repeaters on production lines. The sky is really the limit as these chips get more powerful and as the AI software algorithms eventually figure out how to create personal agents that help us get a variety of tasks done like reading and providing advice on scientific discovery. The field still has a long way to go–it’s really exciting,” he predicted.
“There are a lot of challenges ahead of us that require technology and innovation. Climate change is a big one. Political polarization is another big one–how can we work in a common way across humanity and minimize wars and violence. There’s not a tech tool that can solve that, but the way we’re interconnected and interact with each other is so tied to how information flows around the world.”