Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently shared his vision of a future where technological advancements usher in a society working only three days a week. Speaking on comedian Trevor Noah’s What Now? Podcast, the 68-year-old billionaire reflected on his earlier years of being “mono-maniacal” about building his company from ages 18 to 40. Now, he believes that the “purpose of life is not just to do jobs.” He believes three-day work week is good.
THREE-DAY WORK WEEK; PRODUCTION OF NECESSITIES
Gates envisions a world where machines handle the production of necessities, freeing humans from the need to toil excessively. While discussing the positive impacts of artificial intelligence (AI), he acknowledges potential downsides and emphasizes the importance of careful and ethical use of AI.
In a recent blog post, Gates expressed hope for positive changes brought about by technology but also highlighted the need for caution. He sees AI’s potential as significant, comparable to the introduction of personal computers.
FREEING UP HUMAN LABOR
Despite recognizing possible displacements in the workforce, Gates believes that with a reasonable pace of change and government support for those adapting to new skills, the transition can be positive. He envisions freeing up human labour to better support the elderly and reduce class sizes.
Gates acknowledges the near-term excitement of AI’s productivity gains, especially in automating tasks like paperwork for professions such as programming and medicine. However, he expresses concerns about the future when AI becomes more sophisticated and its potential misuse, such as cyber-attacks or creating convincing deep fakes.
Surprisingly, Gates didn’t foresee the downsides of technology until the rise of social media. He reflects on the initial optimism surrounding computing, where tools like word processors were seen as empowering individuals. However, the advent of social networks disappointed him, as he witnessed the proliferation of divisive and harmful ideas for the sake of clicks.
As we navigate this evolving technological landscape, Gates encourages a thoughtful approach, emphasizing the balance between progress and ethical considerations.