Bill Gates: The real revolution will be self-driving cars, and Uber could get there first


Bill Gates

Gus Ruelas/Reuters

Bill Gates, takes part in a panel discussion titled "Investing in African Prosperity" at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2013.

At a Financial Times event Wednesday evening, the paper's editor interviewed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The two reportedly talked extensively about the economy, robots, Uber, and Silicon Valley.


FT Alphaville writer Izabella Kaminska, who often writes about these issues, went on a long tweetstorm after relaying the conversation.

With regards to robots, the economy, and logistics, the takeaway seems to be that Gates thinks we're in the fastest period of innovation ever, and it's still unclear how that will affect the economy.

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But there's still quite a way to go. Robots "will be benign for quite some time," Gates said. The future of work is not in immediate danger - although the outlook is not good for those who have a high school degree or less.

Gates was also asked about Uber. He seems to think the real disruption to the driving and logistics industry is not going to come until we have fully driverless cars. That's the "rubicon," he says.


Kaminska relays that currently, Gates thinks that Uber "is just a reorganization of labour into a more dynamic form." However, and this is big, Uber does have the biggest research and development budget out there on the driverless vehicle front. And that's to its advantage.

Here's the tweetstorm (in reverse-chronological order):

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Kaminska's tweetstorm about Gates' comments continued on the topics of climate change and philanthropy.

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