Bill Gates responds to warning he made about the internet more than 25 years ago
| Last updated
Bill Gates took to Reddit for a live 'Ask Me Anything' session in January and responded to an eerily accurate prediction he made 20-years-ago which has come true today.
The 67-year-old tech business magnate, philanthropist and investor wrote on Reddit to open the session: "I recently found out that I’m going to become a grandfather this year and spent some time thinking about what matters as we head into 2023.
"Feel free to ask what I’m excited about in the year ahead, our work at the foundation, or anything else."
He then posted a link to a tweeted photo of him sitting doing the session at his computer as 'proof' of the post's authenticity.
With other 4K responses during the short time the AMA was live, one question stood out with user DWright_5 posting: "Hi Bill. Many years ago, I think around 2000, I heard you say something on TV like, 'people are vastly overestimating what the internet will be like in 5 years, and vastly underestimating what it will be like in 10 years.'
"Is any mammoth technology shift at a similar stage right now? Any tech shift - not necessarily the Internet?"
The exact Gates quote he's referring to is: "People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years."
It rings true more than ever over twenty years since Gates said it in his 1996 book, 'Afterword,' the updated edition of 'The Road Ahead' after he realised he'd massively underestimated the internet initially.
Gates' response to the AMA question interesting but chilling: "AI is the big one. I don't think Web3 was that big or that metaverse stuff alone was revolutionary but AI is quite revolutionary," he says.
This prediction seems particularly ominous as an AI bot evaded a Captcha test this month, tricking a human into working for it.
Elon Musk signed a letter last month to put a stop to the development of artificial intelligence due to the potential risks to humanity.
The Twitter CEO, along with over one thousand other AI experts, have signed the document over fears that the technology poses a serious threat to society as we know it.
The letter in question calls for a halt to the 'dangerous race' of technological advancements.
The rest of Gates' responses saw him talk about his philanthropic work: "Most of my time is on innovations like helping pregnant women know if they need to get to a hospital in advance (the ultrasound work I mentioned in my end of the year letter).
"Malnutrition and anemia and also important areas we see a lot of promise in right now."
Gates eventually signed off the session with a cheeky update: "It looks like I’m out of Diet Coke, so it must be time to wrap things up. Thanks for all the great questions!"