Reading time: 3 - 4 minutes
Video Time: 48 minutes 44 seconds
There’s no need to give Bill Gates a lengthy introduction, we all know his outstanding accomplishments. As founder of Microsoft he helped revolutionize the personal computer and his recent philanthropic efforts are extensive. In this lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, he discusses the future of software and the many ways it will affect our lives.
The lecture starts out with a small introduction and a short comedic video that Gates plays for the audience. The video is quite humorous, involves numerous celebrity appearances, and deals with his decision to switch from full-time work at Microsoft to full-time philanthropy work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If you want to skip the humor and dig right into the lecture, then by all means skip about 14 minutes into the video.
Gates begins his discussion by asserting that we are on the verge of numerous technological breakthroughs, and that more and more processes are now being done digitally. One example he gives is the use of encyclopedias today. Ten years ago, most people would have pulled out a hardcover alphabetized reference book, but today, we’re more likely to consult sources like Wikipedia for our information needs.
Throughout the lecture, Gates speaks in much detail about specific software advances, such as “Microsoft Surface,” which is a surface computing product that uses motion and physical objects to control digital content. Gates explains how these new innovations will change how businesses operate, making information more readily accessible to workers, and that it will make the workplace more efficient but also more exciting. Not only will businesses change, but the technology we use at home, at schools, and in scientific research will too.
In the final part of this lecture, Gates turns to the topic of global problems. He gives some examples of how to use technology to solve global problems, particularly issues involving the poorest sections of the world. Despite the many problems around the globe, he is unwaveringly optimistic about progress; he knows that people do want to help and that the opportunities are out there.
So, enjoy this extremely educational and relevant video. Hopefully you’ll learn a little something about software, and get excited about what’s to come!