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Dialogue Bill Gates: Most afraid of two things. One natural disaster.

He looked a little tired, and the back of the head was bald. When he is not speaking, he sits in a chair, turns left and turns right; when answering questions, he looks at you intently, his eyes flashing with a bright light.

On the afternoon of June 7, 2018, US local time, the 63-year-old founder of Microsoft, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Chairman Bill Gates, at the Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle, USA It has accepted interviews with several Chinese media practitioners, including the Economic Observer.

In the interview, he talked about how to view the current Sino-U.S. relations, China's role in helping the world's most underdeveloped areas to fight diseases, eliminate extreme poverty, and how to face the potential crisis of the future world, including the development of artificial intelligence.

It is very important for China and the United States to handle differences carefully.

As the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has been the world's richest man for ten consecutive years, which made him widely known. However, what he seems to be more commendable in recent years is that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, founded the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic foundation in 2000.

The funders of the foundation were Gates and later Warren Buffett, who is also a stockholder, donated huge sums of money. Currently, the Gates Foundation manages more than US$40 billion in funds and annually donates approximately 4.5 billion U.S. dollars to the world, especially the poor and backward countries and regions, for the development of medical and health projects and the eradication of extreme poverty. To eliminate inequality in the human world."

In 2007, the Gates Foundation established a representative office in Beijing, China. It also participated in the work to eliminate extreme poverty and improve people's health in China, and helped Chinese enterprises such as malaria drug production and vaccine production enter the international market.

In his speech before the interview, Gates said, “We are very optimistic about China’s potential in fighting AIDS, malaria and extreme poverty in Africa and hope that China will become our strong partner. China’s progress in science and technology and poverty reduction In terms of progress, etc., the Gates Foundation is also helping China eliminate extreme poverty, which is an important measure. We apply the experience we have learned in China to other countries and may take another year or two. , but being able to participate has already filled our expectations."

Regarding Sino-U.S. relations and promoting friendly exchanges between the two countries, Gates also maintains sustained attention.

At present, Sino-U.S. relations are complex and changeable, hotspots are still occurring, conflicts and conflicts occur from time to time, and international political observers even believe that the "Cold War" between China and the United States has begun. How does Gates think about this? How will his foundation and his personal investment in China be affected?

With regard to these issues mentioned by the Economic Observer reporter, Gates replied that the Chinese economy is inseparable from the U.S. economy; at the same time, he believes that "this close relationship will continue to be maintained in the coming decades."

In addition to the enormous size of the economy, Gates said that "China's contribution to basic scientific research has reached the second place in the world in terms of most indicators; and the future will continue to be maintained regardless of quantity or quality. Growth momentum."

He also stated that the United States and China have the ability to work together to solve many problems such as energy and health, and to promote stability in the world. "Cooperation will bring tremendous opportunities. True, there are differences of opinion between the two sides on issues such as the South China Sea, trade, and North Korea. Therefore, it is very important for (two countries) to handle these differences carefully in cooperation."

Gates took the energy issue as an example: Ten years ago, China was not as active in the energy sector. But now, or at least for the moment, China has already played a leading role in energy issues over the United States. In my opinion, this is a good thing. In the future, most of the global energy infrastructure construction will come from China and India. 

Gates believes that both China and the United States need to adopt innovative means and mechanisms to develop bilateral relations.

He mentioned that TerraPow-er, a for-profit company he owns, is currently working with China National Nuclear Corporation, one of China's most important central enterprises, to develop a safer new type of nuclear reactor. . "Although it is still in the early stages of development, I am full of confidence in it. Moreover, it combines the unique capabilities of the United States and China (6.43, 0.06, 0.94%). I think this is a model of Sino-U.S. cooperation. ”

It is worth mentioning that in 2017, Bill Gates was elected as the foreign academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering as Chairman of the Tera Energy Group.

In the final answer to the Economic Observer reporter’s questions, Gates also said that in the United States, he often communicates with Hank Paulson, Ray Dario, and Henry Kissinger to discuss how to maintain The friendly dialogue between the United States and the United States.

Gates mentioned Hank Paulson, Henry "Hank" Merritt Paulson, who was formerly the Treasury Secretary, now serving as Chairman of the Paulson Foundation; Ray Dalio (Ray Dalio) ), is the founder of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund; Henry Alfred Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, is more familiar to the Chinese.

Successfully developed AIDS vaccine

Earliest 8 years

The medical and health field, especially in the vaccine field, is one of the charitable projects that the Gates Foundation has paid the most attention to and invested most. But are there projects where the foundation has continued to invest for a long period of time but has found nothing? In this case, how will Gates do it?

Gates first used HIV prevention as an example. "At present, we have not successfully developed a vaccine for AIDS, but there are many good early developments. I think that the vaccine can be developed as early as 8 years later, but it may be 15 years later. You can say that we have not been successful in this regard. The global pace of progress in the prevention and control of AIDS is somewhat slow and there are not enough sources of funding, but we must continue to work hard."

“Another disappointment is that we have tried to make it possible for people who are susceptible to AIDS to take one pill a day to prevent HIV infection. This is the prevention of AIDS before exposure. We have tested and shown that this approach is effective. , but eventually found that convincing people to take drugs every day is not an easy task. Now we are planning to develop injections that are injected once every month or every three months to protect people from the threat of AIDS. We think that people will We received injections on time. We encountered greater difficulties in this regard."

In the field of malaria, Gates said that although the first generation of vaccines is currently available, the time it takes for children to protect them is very short, and the effective period of protection is only 6 months. Therefore, the scope of application is limited and it is not suitable for a large scope. To promote, it is necessary to develop a second-generation malaria vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline takes most of the R&D work on the malaria vaccine project, and the bulk of R&D costs are provided by the Gates Foundation.

Gates also said that in many backward countries and regions in the world, the existing basic health care system cannot effectively vaccinate children. “I stayed in Nigeria for a long time. Vaccine coverage in northern Nigeria is only 20%. In countries with economic conditions far less than those in Nigeria, such as Tanzania and Ethiopia, the coverage rate has reached 85-90%. Establish an effective vaccine. Delivery system is very difficult."

In his view, slow progress has also included the development of crop seeds with higher yields and higher vitamin content - the development of new seeds is very slow.

However, as always, the "resolute optimist" stated that "Although we have encountered some setbacks, we have made many advances, such as the establishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization (GAVI). Some institutions, such as children's mortality, have fallen sharply, and some of them far exceeded our original expectations. Overall, our global health business has progressed very smoothly and will continue to work hard for it. Even if we suffer setbacks, we will not Will give up lightly."

Artificial intelligence can be used by humans at least at this stage.

Is there still something that makes this "firm optimist" feel "relatively pessimistic"? In the future world, what are the great crises and challenges humans will face?

In response, Gates replied, "There are two types of situations that can make people feel pessimistic. One is that we don't prepare for sudden adverse events. For example, there is a sudden and large-scale flu pandemic in the world. This situation cannot be handled. I This possibility was mentioned in past speeches and articles, that is, an infectious disease caused by an unknown pathogen."

The second category is the threat of terrorism. He said: "If nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorist organizations, the consequences will be terrible. If terrorist organizations create biological weapons such as smallpox and change the characteristics of the smallpox virus, they can increase the lethality rate from 30% to 90%. Yes, this technology is not confidential. Biotechnology can help us develop new drugs and can also be used by criminals."

As for other frightening incidents, "such as the collision of an asteroid with the volcanic eruption of Yellowstone Park, etc. In addition to large-scale infectious diseases and terrorist attacks, the probability of these incidents is extremely low. People are afraid of war and have the largest destruction of human productivity. It is also a war. There have been world wars in history. But we are a fortunate generation. We have not experienced a large-scale war yet. But the future is always unpredictable. No one can guarantee it. Nuclear weapons are scary, although from World War II. Since the destruction of these weapons has not been used, but they have always existed, but also a steady stream of new weapons have been invented, and even the emergence of artificial intelligence weapons.I just finished reading a book called "Unmanned Army" ( The book of ArmyofNone) is very well written and it talks about what the countermeasures for automated weapons should be."

As a leader in the global scientific and technological community, especially in the IT world for decades, Gates made further judgments on the issue of artificial intelligence. “Advanced artificial intelligence will not become a reality soon; at least for now, artificial intelligence. It can be used by us."

Gates believes that humanity must be prepared for the future disaster. This preparation also includes collaboration among governments of the world.

He took climate change as an example. “The consequences of climate change have a delaying effect. The problem is caused by the wealthy, but they have the ability to buy air conditioners or move northwards, or use other methods to grow crops. However, the equator is located in Africa. The nationals of the country have to bear the greatest losses, although their contribution to climate change is only 2%.The nations of the world have begun to discuss how to solve this thorny issue.In my opinion, the only way is to accelerate technological innovation. With some tools, the cost of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions is too high, and many people need to abandon modern lifestyles such as air conditioning and refrigeration, so unless we continue to innovate, we must make difficult choices, which is why I actively promote innovation. ”

In addition, in the short term, the world today faces problems such as trade disputes, and it also causes people to worry about whether global collaboration can be achieved. “Although there are many challenges, compared to any era in history, being able to be born in this era is a fortunate one. And I believe that the world will probably develop in a better and better direction. China is a very Good example: Imagine if you were willing to be born in 1960 or 2018 in China, and the United States is no exception. For example, women and homosexuals are in a much better situation today than they used to be, and there are various kinds of tools including digital tools. Tools have given us tremendous power, and although we are already accustomed to it, this is a very great improvement. Young people are not only using these tools, but also trying to expand their use. In a sense, even if these challenges exist As long as we cooperate, share and collaborate through digital tools, we hope to achieve innovation.”

The richest person in the world, and the world’s largest philanthropist, ended his own answer.


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