13 Most Interesting Questions/Answers From Bill Gates AMA

bill gates reddit ama

Short Bytes: Bill Gates, the chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recently took part in his 5th Reddit AMA. During this session, the users asked questions pertaining to different topics. Gates revealed his greatest achievement, views on AI, and favorite sandwich. He also answered the question “Did you copy Steve Jobs or did he copy you?”

Here are the 13 most interesting questions asked to Bill Gates during his 5th Reddit AMA. Here’s the link to the complete AMA thread on Reddit. So, let’s start:

Ques. 1: Hello Bill Gates. What is your idea of success?

Bill Gates: Warren Buffett has always said the measure is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. It is also nice to feel like you made a difference – inventing something or raising kids or helping people in need.

Ques. 2: What do you personally find as your greatest achievement?

Bill Gates: Although the Foundation work is super promising and will be the biggest thing over the decades ahead I still think the chance to be part of the software revolution empowering people was the biggest thing I have gotten to do.

Right now I am very focused on making sure we successfully eradicate polio – that will be amazing if we do it – as good as shipping even the best software product.

Ques. 3: If you could give 19-year-old Bill Gates some advice, what would it be?

Bill Gates: 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….

Ques. 4: Do you ever disguise yourself and just walk around incognito?

Bill Gates: 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.

Ques. 5: Can you still jump over an office chair from a standing position?

Here’s the reference:

Bill Gates: No. Perhaps a small chair – a stool. I do exercise and ski but my main sport is tennis which doesn’t involve jumping. Some people jump over the net but that isn’t part of the sport.

Ques. 7: What do you think is the most pressing issue that we could feasibly solve in the next ten years?

Bill Gates: A lot of people feel a sense of isolation. I still wonder if digital tools can help people find opportunities to get together with others – not Tinder but more like adults who want to mentor kids or hang out with each other. It is great that kids go off and pursue opportunities but when you get communities where the economy is weak and a lot of young people have left then something should be done to help.

Ques. 8: What kind of technological advancement do you wish to see in your lifetime?

Bill Gates: 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.

Ques 9: Ok, Mr. Gates, what’s a typical Bill sandwich consist of? I’m talking breads, meats, cheeses, condiments. if you could only have one sandwich on earth, what would it be?

Bill Gates: Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger.

Ques 10: If you could create a new IP and business with Elon Musk, what would you make happen?

Bill Gates: We need clean, reliable cheap energy – which we don’t have. It is too bad the sun doesn’t shine all the time and the wind doesn’t blow all the time. The Economist had a good piece on this this week. So we need some invention – perhaps miracle batteries or super safe nuclear or making sun into gasoline directly.

Ques. 11: What are you most curious about, Bill?

Bill Gates: I still find the creation of life and the way the brain works the most fascinating areas. Nick Lane has some great books exploring what we know about how life started. It is amazing how little we know about the brain still but I expect we will know a lot more in 10 years.

Ques. 12: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

Bill Gates: I will be 76 at that time. Hopefully a grandfather. The Foundation with its partners will have eradicated a number of diseases and health in poor countries will be a lot better – specifically instead of 5% of children under 5 dying it should be at 2.5% which is still a lot.

I hope I can still type fast enough to do Reddit sessions without someone transcribing for me.

Ques. 13: Did you copy Steve Jobs or did he copy you?

Bill Gates: The main “copying” that went on relative to Steve and me is that we both benefited from the work that Xerox Parc did in creating graphical interface – it wasn’t just them but they did the best work. Steve hired Bob Belville, I hired Charles Simonyi. We didn’t violate any IP rights Xerox had but their work showed the way that led to the Mac and Windows.

For more questions and answer, here’s the complete Reddit AMA link.

Which answers did you find most interesting? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

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