Bill Gates does an AMA on Reddit, where he discusses vaccines, climate change, And Steve Jobs.
Gates participates in the challenge using a truss to hold the ice bucket. He is challenged by Mark Zuckerberg. Before he dumps the water on himself, he challenges Ryan Seacrest, Chris Anderson and Elon Musk.
The Bill and Melinda Foundation pledged $50 million to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The money will be used to help the government purchase supplies, “scale up emergency operations,” and enable international aid.
We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease. We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.
Gates writes a letter to employees of Microsoft on company’s 40th anniversary.
Early on, Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.
Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft’s future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.
Under Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens — and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.
In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.
We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.
Gates explains why he is investing $1 billion of his own money into clean energy research:
I believe that the next half-decade will bring many breakthroughs that will help solve climate change. As I argued in this 2010 TED talk, we need to be able to power all sectors of the economy with sources that do not emit any carbon dioxide. But when it comes to preventing the worst effects of climate change, the investments I make will matter much less than the choices that governments make…of all the people who will be affected by climate change, those in poor countries will suffer the most. Higher temperatures and less-predictable weather would hurt poor farmers, most of whom live on the edge and can be devastated by a single bad crop. Food supplies could decline. Hunger and malnutrition could rise. It would be a terrible injustice to let climate change undo any of the past half-century’s progress against poverty and disease—and doubly unfair because the people who will be hurt the most are the ones doing the least to cause the problem.
The UK government is to create a new £1 billion fund, called The Ross Fund, in partnership with US philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates. The fun, named after Sir Ronald Ross, who first found the link between mosquitoes and malaria in 1902, aims to eradicate malaria and other infectious disease. The fund will come from the UK’s overseas aid budget over the next five years, with £115m earmarked for research into new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious diseases, and £188m to be spent on improving biodefences and rapid response systems to fast-spreading epidemics such as Ebola. UK Chancellor Osborne:
[The government’s commitment to overseas aid helps to] promote our national security and interests around the world. [Working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help us in] our joint ambition to see an end to this global disease in our lifetimes.
With the combined skill and expertise of British scientists; leveraging the weight of both public and private financing; and the continued leadership of George Osborne and the UK, [the] announcement of the Ross Fund will play a key role in reaching that goal [ eradicating malaria and other poverty-related infectious diseases].
Gates says he recently talked with Trump on the phone about innovation and green energy, He says it was the first time they have spoken although they have mutual friends.
A lot of his message has been about … where he sees things not as good as he’d like. But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that. I think whether it’s education or stopping epidemics … [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump’s] administration [is] going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation. Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation.