Bill Gates

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About
is an American programmer, inventor, business magnate and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen.

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thisisbillgates36745 karma

I would be glad to pass along your thoughts on this to the right person at Microsoft - they care a lot about getting accessibility right.

thisisbillgates28832 karma

I benefited from having a great education - public schools through 6th grade and then a great private School (Lakeside). So there is a good chance I would never have gotten turned on to software and math the way I did and therefore not as successful.

thisisbillgates27724 karma

There are many domains to be successful in. I was a success in getting good grades and test scores in high school. I was a success at writing good code by my early 20s. The dream of the PC being an enabling tool came true by the 1990s. Now I am working on being a good father and the ambitious goals of the Foundation including getting rid of polio and malaria. I think it is always good to have goals where your success is in doubt and I have that in many areas including the work I do on climate change.

thisisbillgates20518 karma

When I code I use tabs because you want the columns to line up. For some word documents I use tabs. You want things to adjust when you go back and edit them and tabs help.

thisisbillgates17984 karma

I sometimes wear a hat. For example when I did college tours with my son I wanted the focus to be totally on him. A lot less people recognize me when I have a hat on or else they realize I am trying to be incognito.

Mostly when people do recognize me they are super nice so I don't feel it is a burden to be noticed most of the time.

thisisbillgates16116 karma

The most amazing thing will be when computers can read and understand the text like humans do. Today computers can do simple things like search for specific words but concepts like vacation or career or family are not "understood". Microsoft and others are working on this to create a helpful assistant. It has always been kind of a holy grail of software particularly now that vision and speech are largely solved. Another frontier is robotics where the human ability to move and manipulate is amazing and experts disagree on whether it will take just a decade or a lot longer (Brooks) to achieve the equivalent.

thisisbillgates15082 karma

I do make myself tomato soup sometimes. It is kind of a comforting food and reminds me of doing the same when I was growing up. I don't make sandwiches much.

thisisbillgates14822 karma

The big milestone is when computers can read and understand information like humans do. There is a lot of work going on in this field - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, academia,... Right now computers don't know how to represent knowledge so they can't read a text book and pass a test.

Another whole area is vaccines. We need a vaccine for HIV, Malaria and TB and I hope we have them in the next 10-15 years.

thisisbillgates13910 karma

There was a certain urgency to everything we were doing to stay ahead that meant the speed of activity was very high. I miss this a bit. I had to take Think Weeks twice a year just to step back and see what the longer term trends were. Now I work on things like malaria where I wish there was more competition to solve the problems and things moved faster.

thisisbillgates13744 karma

I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then. I would say you might explore the developing world before you get into your forties. I wasn't very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that - maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up....