What Makes Bill Gates Feel Stupid

Not knowing a second language, he reveals on Reddit
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 11:04 AM CST
What Makes Bill Gates Feel Stupid
Bill Gates listens during an interview in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It's safe to say Bill Gates is no dummy. But one thing does make the Microsoft co-founder feel like one: "I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages," he revealed in his third Reddit "Ask Me Anything." (It was again a popular one, notes Yahoo! Tech, which reports Gates answered about 30 of the 5,000 questions submitted.) "I took Latin and Greek in High School and got A's and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese. I keep hoping to get time to study one of these—probably French because it is the easiest." He also mentioned a fellow techie who outranks him in this particular arena: "Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&A with Chinese students—incredible."

Gates also revealed that he believes when it comes to technology, "there will be more progress in the next 30 years than ever. Even in the next 10 problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good. Mechanical robot tasks like picking fruit or moving a hospital patient will be solved." But he'd prefer any robots we develop not be all that smart. "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern." In less alarming quotes, when asked for a life lesson, he offered: "Don't stay up too late even if the book is really exciting. You will regret it in the morning." (Stephen Hawking is with him on the smart robot problem.)

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