While Bill Gates is an advocate for education, making it the number 1 priority of his foundation in the US, he believes that dropping out can sometimes be a wise decision, depending on the circumstances. Being a dropout of Harvard University himself in 1975, he ended up founding Microsoft. Soon he became the richest man in the world. He considers himself lucky that he was obsessed with computers during a time when they were just beginning to advance. So when asked by a student from Columbia University about the kind of jobs he would drop out for, these were his answers.
1) Artificial Intelligence
Bill Gates said that if he were into computer sciences today, the area that had the most potential was artificial intelligence. He brought up the topic of Google’s DeepMind AI beating the world’s top Go player. Go is a game people thought an AI could never master. He said that this was a remarkable achievement that showed that there is much more things to come with AI. He also mentioned that the research being done in the field is “profound” and is on the verge of making new breakthroughs. “The ability for artificial agents to read and understand material is going to be phenomenal,” Gates said. “Anything connected with that would be an exciting lifetime career.”
2) Energy Sector
Source: Board of Investment
With the well-known threat of global warming, Gates stated that there is an ever growing demand for renewable energy that’s “reliable, cheap, and clean,” and that the world has yet to find a source that perfectly fits all 3 of those criteria. This is the reason why he thinks that this is a good place for bright minds and innovators to invest in. “The innovations [in energy] will be profound,” said Gates. “And there are many paths to get to where we need to go.”
Gates said that it was a very exciting time for biotechnology as developments in the field are advancing and are “moving faster than ever.” He said that he saw a lot of potential and the need for smart innovation in the fights against obesity, cancer, and depression, with the most promising advance in biotech being DNA vaccines.