This week, Bill Gates hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit where he discussed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, myths about aid, as well as his favorite burger joints. He also urged the Reddit community to review his 2014 Gates Annual Letter entitled “3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor.”
Here are the 10 best takeaways from Bill Gates’s recent Reddit powwow.
1. His goal for 2014 is to change the debate about education
Gates admires the way education is being handled in many Asian countries – teachers are being given the tools to improve their classroom skills and abilities and the impact has been huge. In the U.S., however, education is being bogged down in debates about state versus federal funding and testing versus no testing and it’s affecting students. “I wish the debate about education would focus on helping teachers improve and what we know about that,” explained Gates. “In general politics needs to focus on the problems rather than attacking the other side.”
2. His tablet of choice is a Surface 2 Pro
3. Gates is a burger connoisseur
When asked about his favorite fast food joint, Gates revealed his love for In-N-Out. He’s also a big fan of Burgermaster, a Seattle landmark, as well as Dick’s Drive In Restaurant, another Seattle classic.
4. Machine learning is a field that deserves more attention
Gates stated that if he were a computer science student today, he would most likely be looking into machine learning. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that focuses on developing systems that are capable of learning from data. “It has already made a big difference in video and audio recognition - more progress in the last 3 years than ever before,” wrote Gates.
5. Bill Gates enjoys doing the dishes
Sure, we all knew that Bill Gates is different from you and I. But we didn’t realize he’s this different. During his AMA, Gates revealed that his passion for fighting grease is satisfied on a daily basis, as he does the dishes every night. “Other people volunteer but I like the way I do it,” he wrote.
6. He’s excited about the future of the cloud
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s newly appointment CEO, asked Gates to remain onboard and help drive innovation and ambition at the company. And what area in particular is Gates focusing on at Microsoft? The cloud and how it, along with new devices, can help businesses and individuals communicate and collaborate in new and exciting ways. “The OS won't just be on one device and the information won't just be files,” Gates explained. “It will be your history including being able to review memories of things like kids growing up.”
7. One of Bill Gates’s favorite movies is Brainstorm
A big Christopher Walken fan, Gates mentioned that one of his favorite movies is the 1983 sci-fi flick Brainstorm. Directed by Douglas Trumbull and starring Walken, the film follows a team of scientists as they work to perfect a computer system that directly records and plays back sensations from a subject’s brain so that others can experience them.
8. His most expensive guilty pleasure is…
… owning a private jet.
9. He’s not the world’s biggest philanthropist, he would pick up a one hundred dollar bill, and aid really does work
Bill dispelled three myths in this animated video.
For those wondering what Myth #2 is all about, it goes back to this fun fact about his earnings: Bill Gates earns about $250 every second, or $7.8 billion a year. So, as the story goes, if Gates was walking down the street and happened upon a one hundred dollar bill, it wouldn’t be worth his time to bend down and pick it up. In fact, assuming it would take more than four seconds to pick up a bill, even a one thousand dollar bill wouldn’t be enough incentive for Gates to stop and pocket it.
10. He has mixed feelings about the NSA and the mass gathering of information
“Privacy will be increasingly important as cameras and GPS sensors are gathering information to try and be helpful,” Gates explained. “We need to have trust in the way information is protected and gathered. There is a role for the government to try and stop crime and terrorism but it will have to be more open. I do think terrorism with biological or nuclear weapons is something we want to minimize the chance of.”