While speaking at the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego last week, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates suggested that while artificial intelligence hasn’t advanced enough to replace teachers yet, it could happen soon, The Epoch Times reported.
While discussing the role of technology in education with DreamBox Learning CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson, Gates predicted that artificial intelligence will soon be able to be as good as any human tutor. He noted that there are “enough sample sets” showing that training artificial intelligence to tutor students “can be done,” which he said is a “worthwhile milestone.”
Gates said ever since machine learning became a focus of research, artificial intelligence has achieved “unbelievable milestones.” He said AI is better than humans at listening and recognizing speech, images, and videos. He said the one area in which it was useless was reading and writing.
And while previous development in artificial intelligence was unable to replicate human understanding, new models, like OpenAI’s GPT-4 are starting to bridge the gap, Gates explained. He said these recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are focused on reading and writing with “incredible fluency.”
While expressing optimism about the possible benefits of artificial intelligence in education, Gates also noted that the current models need more development before any of those benefits can take shape.
He explained that currently, artificial intelligence has no sense of how hard it should work on something, spending the same amount of computation time on everything it generates. Additionally, AI can’t differentiate between an important or unimportant problem. He said this is the kind of reasoning model AI developers will be adding in the next year.
Gates also emphasized that any philanthropic interest he has in artificial intelligence is in making sure that the technology is used equitably, not just in education but also in the field of medicine.