New Delhi: CNN-News18, India’s leading English news channel, broadcast an exclusive interview featuring the co-founder of Microsoft. The one-on-one discussion was held with Zakka Jacob, Managing Editor of CNN-News18, where Bill Gates shared his thoughts on the pandemic, the importance of knowing the origins of COVID-19, the future of technology, and India’s role in the world.
When asked about his biggest learnings from the pandemic, Gates spoke about the risks that were identified in advance and how the world did not do enough to prepare. However, he also praised India’s actions, stating that they were exemplary in terms of scaling up vaccine production and implementing environmental surveillance. In terms of preparing for another pandemic, Gates expressed confidence that the world is better prepared to respond and contain it than before.
On the topic of knowing the origins of COVID-19, Gates expressed doubts that we will ever have certainty. However, he did note the importance of ensuring that labs are secure and that surveillance is increased. He also discussed the increasing transfer of diseases from animals to humans and the importance of better detection methods.
Regarding the impact of technology, Gates expressed his admiration for Chat GPT and its potential to change our lives. He spoke about how it can be used in educational and health institutions, but also acknowledged the ethical dilemmas that arise with such technologies. Gates also noted that there will be policy questions that need to be addressed as innovation continues to rapidly adapt.
In terms of India’s role in the world, Gates praised the country for its leadership in digitization of the payment system and its unique identity system, Aadhaar. He also spoke about the potential for India to become an alternate manufacturing base, which would be great for both the world and India. Gates expressed his hope to preserve the good things about globalisation and free trade, noting that IT jobs in India are a great asset to the world. Gates highlighted the significance of the G20 in addressing critical issues such as dislocations from Ukraine and the reduction of aid to countries in Africa due to ongoing conflicts.
During the interview, Gates emphasized the importance of AI and the future of technology, noting his excitement about AI as the big change agent. He also expressed his skepticism about cryptocurrency and his belief that the metaverse is not revolutionary. Gates sees video as the thrust of the future, with India’s great mobile phone connectivity and booming 5G network.
He also shared his thoughts on Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter, suggesting that Elon’s did a great job with SpaceX and Tesla but the jury is still out about twitter on whether it was the right decision.
Overall, the conversation provided a fascinating insight into Gates’ thoughts on critical issues facing the world today, including the pandemic, AI, and India’s role in global affairs. As always, Gates’ insights were thought-provoking, nuanced, and well worth considering.
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