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Synopsis of Bill Gates' Predictions For 2024

Issuing his annual predictions for the year to come, Bill Gates said 2024 will be a “turning point.”


Bill Gates
Credit: GatesNotes

Gates, is known for his deep involvement in philanthropy and his efforts to address global challenges through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While the accuracy of specific predictions may be debatable, his contributions to addressing pressing global issues are widely recognized. And he probably spends as much time as anybody reflecting upon the state of the world and how humanity (and his billions) may best improve it.


This week, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, said in his 10-page letter that he expects to see more innovations in artificial intelligence, a breakthrough in infant malnutrition, advances in climate change talks and defining elections around the world.


He starts the letter with: "I turned 67 in October. It’s hard to believe I’m that old - in America, most people my age are retired! But I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. I’m still going full speed on the project I began more than two decades ago, which is to give the vast majority of my resources back to society. Although I don’t care where I rank on the list of the world’s richest people, I do know that as I succeed in giving, I will drop down and eventually off the list altogether."


So, what does he predict for the year ahead? Here's a quick synopsis.


Artificial intelligence: Gates’ forecast is that AI progress will broadly improve global health while enabling innovation in developed and developing countries. “Artificial intelligence is about to accelerate the rate of new discoveries at a pace we’ve never seen before.” Gates predicts the general population in high-income countries is between 18 to 24 months away from wide AI use. Elsewhere, Gates expects that number to be three years.


Global health: The world is near a breakthrough in using gut microbiome supplements to address malnutrition in children, according to Gates. “Feeding infants this probiotic helps them move their microbiome into that positive state so they can grow up and achieve their full potential,” and “The next step is (hopefully) broader regulatory approval and scaled-up, high quality, and reliable manufacturing.”


Clean energy: According to Gates, climate change conversations are advancing as more people experience extreme weather. A lot of the climate change discussions surround clean energy, which increasingly includes nuclear power, said Gates, a longtime backer of nuclear energy. “In 2024 and beyond, I predict we will see lots of new innovations coming into the marketplace - even in very complicated areas like nuclear.”


Gates attended the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai this year, and says he is optimistic about the future, based on the rising number of climate technology startups present there compared to eight years ago at the Paris conference. This decade will be key for upgrading electric grids and improving power transmission to realize the full potential of clean energy, he said. But he added the world still needs to figure out how to get to zero emissions.


Elections: In 2024, countries that house more than half of the world’s population will hold elections, Gates said. Those countries include the United States, India, Indonesia and South Africa. “If I could make one wish for all the people headed to the polls next year - no matter where they live - it would be for them to consider elected leaders who understand the importance of investing in human development around the world.”


“I believe the 2024 elections will be a turning point for both health and climate,” Gates wrote.

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