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Talking Tech and 2020 with Bill Gates!

Talking Tech and 2020 with Bill Gates!
first of all thank you for joining me again yeah great in seattle it's a little rainier than last time but yeah it's good this is more typical than this time of year i believe it so last time we chatted it was 2019. i feel like

2020

do you have any news resolutions or things you focus on at the beginning of a new decade uh well this year i'm going to travel a little bit less than normal the theme of the annual letter last year which is why we spoke uh was surprises and so i read the annual letter for

2020

and i'll link it below if anyone wants to check it out but the theme was swinging for the fences so how is that different for you this year how does that look as a strategy and as an overall plan for you well this annual letter we kind of took the 20-year perspective uh because it's our anniversary we got going all the way back in the year 2000 and had you know uh dreams of having huge impact in u.s education and global health with global health because of some new vaccines that we've been involved with and those have really gotten out we you know swung for the fences there and actually uh it succeeded education's been a lot tougher where uh although we've done some good curriculum and done some things for tutoring and kids getting feedback you know we don't have uh the dropout rate graduation preparedness still you know the system is is not dramatically improved and nowhere near as good as we want it to be right i feel like you always...
talking tech and 2020 with bill gates
seem to swing for the fences in general it's just sort of a new way of framing it but i have to ask if you are swinging for the fences what if you miss well hopefully uh you get more than one swing either at the same problem like you know multiple malaria vaccine constructs so that you know if you have two or three the combined chance of success is much higher or that you're working in multiple areas not just one area right you know in climate for example i have a company that's uh trying to make a nuclear reactor that would be very cheap and that would have safety so that the public would be very accepting of it now you know even i realize that's high risk you know less than 50 percent chance all that comes together and yet uh if it did and the only reason i'm involved is it would really help with climate let us generate electricity without any greenhouse gases i have a quote from you on climate um from the annual letter and i think it's pretty good i read quotes back to people from their own speeches a lot but this is something you wrote tackling climate change is going to demand historic levels of global cooperation is that i guess one of the biggest challenges of climate change and there's always ways to innovate and

tech

and innovate in other fields but is the cooperation of all these companies that all have to chip in to make a difference one of the biggest challenges yes the getting to zero means you know the all the countries going along in...
talking tech and 2020 with bill gates
all the different sectors of the missions so it's not enough if you just do passenger cars uh even that's super hard and very important but you also have to do industrial and agriculture and other forms of transport like planes and and long distance trucks and so the number of innovations is very very high and in some of these areas the green approach will still cost more than the dirty approach and so convincing people that the benefits of stopping these emissions mean that you should be willing to pay extra for some of these activities if we get super good innovation in a few cases we might get the the green premium i call it to zero so that you you don't pay any extra but because there's so many sorts of emissions some of them uh will be premium priced and yet uh we have to go to you know 194 countries and get almost all of them particularly the big ones yeah uh to go along or else the motivation for the others you know falls apart and the whole thing fails and on that same theme you know the premium of something that might be considered better or cleaner for the environment we spoke about tesla briefly last time and i think what you've mentioned basically was they have a great product but they're still premium it's still more expensive to get one which is why it's it's not everywhere do you think that if that problem is solved that could be one of the the more important things towards advancing an advent of sustainable transport like...
talking tech and 2020 with bill gates
that's one of the most important things for that company and eventually for the entire industry is to bring the premium down to hopefully zero so that it's a no-brainer to go electric or zero emissions yeah the premium today is is there uh but over the next decade except that the range will still be a little bit less that premium will come to zero so if we take all the sectors uh passenger cars is actually one of the most hopeful and certainly tesla uh if you had to name one company that's helped drive that it's them now all the car companies including some other new ones are moving super fast to do electric cars actually you know the biggest concern is will the consumers uh get on board overcome their range anxiety you know i just got a porsche uh ti cam which is an electric car okay and i have to say i mean it's a premium chrysler but yeah it is very very cool uh that that's my first uh electric car and i'm enjoying it a lot yeah i have to follow up on that because that's the car i'm super curious about um you don't see them nearly as much but when you see pretty much everywhere is tesla model 3. yes that's i see them all over seattle you see them all over downtown and if you're in la is there anything like missing from that experience obviously it's a fun car but other than getting the price down and continuing to make a better product is there any other reason not to go electric i guess well the range you know if you...
want to go a long distance right uh the pervasiveness of recharging the time to recharge yeah you know compared to filling up a tank of gas the amount of energy that's going in you know per minute of uh filling your gas tank it's kind of mind blowing i mean gasoline is very dense energy 30 times more dense than the current lithium batteries and now a factor of two improvement in the range will get it so most people it's you know only uh less than three percent of car sales uh globally today uh you know norway uh is higher than that and china's uh looks to be one of the marks that will develop the most quickly so you know price will uh it's important for that to come down the of course you spend a little bit less on the electricity than you would spend on gasoline and the maintenance cost uh is a little bit less although the insurance right now uh is a little bit more premium cars yeah and the repairs on you know like these mirrors that are really rich and complicated yeah you know fixing the mirror used to be 100 bucks now it's like 1500 so uh you know there's there's some work to be done on a few of these areas but clearly of all the climate areas i'd say that one's the most hopeful for sure it's away the future i say um all right so as a youtuber i feel like i have to ask about youtube and you know with all the the work you've done with not only spreading vaccines for as many people as possible but there's also kind of the...
second job of spreading information about vaccines you mentioned in the annual letter people who are hundreds of meters from somewhere where they could have gotten a vaccine and didn't what do you think about the role of sites like youtube in the spread of not just information but potentially misinformation when it comes to things like vaccines or climate change yeah it's very tricky because historically the newspapers or the the media were very responsible about not letting untruths about vaccine safety get out there now you know you don't want to get rid of the good thing which is that anybody can publish that barriers to entry the diversity of voices is so phenomenal compared to to traditional publishing right i feel like and you have a bit of a youtube presence so you're able to share information about things uh through social media it's kind of a social media age so i feel like that ideally helps your cause more than it hurts it yeah my audience probably isn't uh deep with the vaccine doubters yeah you know i in a creative way uh trying to get positive messages to uh be interesting and we have work to do on that you know i would have thought using experts on scientific knowledge that the all the internet would just make it so much easier to learn about things uh and yet in some ways you know people aren't seeking out complex information particularly if it disagrees uh with some preconceived notion that they have so you know how can social...
media get out there and be a little bit of a force for education particularly on climate where without a consensus we won't do the the hard things that will save things for the next generation so we want to we want to push the information that helps the most amount of people to as many people as possible that's one version of swinging for the fences yeah and you know activate people want to do more than just you know make their salary they want to be involved with the cause and for a lot of people some way of engaging either as a consumer an advocate a donor in climate change that i'm amazed at how the interest level is going up i hope it's not a cyclical thing i hope that's kind of a permanent thing because the the challenge requires you know decades of it being a very top issue as opposed to okay for three or four years that was kind of interesting let's move on to something else all right last question and this is inspired by uh neil i patel who has interviewed you before from the verge which is just a total

tech

question as a person as busy as yourself when do you do email i you know i do some on the phone i do a lot i'm very pc centric person i sit at my desk with a nice big surface screen nice uh and you know i get in early to do email a lot at night particularly if i get a long email i'll mark it as unread and then that night i'm going through the last few days looking at what i've marked as i'm ready to say okay that's...
got an enclosure let's really go through that give a thoughtful response to it i do know if i over schedule myself the symptom of that is i'm i'm starting to fall behind on an email i'm not super responsive and that you know that can be you know a bad thing uh you know today i got mail about you know this coronavirus outbreak and how you know should the foundation step up and do something i'm you know i'm glad i was there to give a really quick yes response definitely some things are urgent and uh but it it's a it's a gauge of of am i imagining my schedule well that people feel like i'm a quick quick to reply i try to be quick to reply but we can't always be thank you again for the time i appreciate it yeah great to see you good to see you again hopefully we do it again sometime excellent