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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s AI Challenge Offers Funding for Innovative Solutions

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched a new AI Challenge, providing funding of up to $100,000 for projects that explore novel ways to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in overcoming everyday challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries.

According to the foundation’s Request for Proposals (RFP), “The power of science and innovation can enhance global health and development outcomes while significantly reducing global inequities. By harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we can improve the lives and well-being of women, children, and vulnerable communities worldwide.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in collaboration with Grand Challenges (GC) Partners, including GC South Africa and GC Brazil, with others soon to be confirmed, has recognized the necessity for an equitable and responsible approach to utilizing AI, particularly Large Language Models (LLMs), in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This initial call for proposals by the foundation marks an initial step towards identifying, nurturing, and catalyzing the creativity, expertise, and skills demonstrated by researchers, implementers, governments, and technical partners in addressing specific challenges within their respective countries and regions using LLMs.

Improving well-being

Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said AI brings “the potential to fundamentally alter the way people communicate, work, learn, and improve their well-being.”

“Earlier advances in technology have delivered uneven benefits in many parts of the world for a variety of reasons, but lack of access to innovation is the primary reason people in low-resource settings often do not see benefits in a timely, fair, and consistent fashion.”

Meanwhile, Zameer Brey, the Gates Foundation’s head of technology diffusion, told GeekWire that the foundation’s Grand Challenges in 2003 resulted in more than 3,600 grants in 118 countries.

“Having worked with many folks in these countries previously, there’s a lot of creativity, there’s a lot of energy, there’s a lot of great ideas, and sometimes providing some level of funding gets them to surface these ideas, test them, and build out the evidence base,” Brey said.

Bill Gates-Backed Company, CubicPV, Advances Perovskite Solar Panels for Commercialization

CubicPV, a company supported by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is working towards commercializing perovskite panels to significantly enhance the viability of solar energy. Based in Massachusetts and Texas, the firm is engineering innovative solar panels featuring a bottom silicon layer and a top perovskite layer, resulting in an impressive efficiency rate of 30 percent.

A recent report by CNBC highlighted CubicPV’s progress in this field. CEO Frank van Mierlo shared with the news outlet that the company’s perovskite chemistry and cost-effective manufacturing method for the silicon layer make their products economically attractive.

The company’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Last month, the Department of Energy announced CubicPV as the lead industry participant in a new research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together, these organizations will leverage automation and artificial intelligence to significantly enhance the production and development of tandem panels.

“Tandem extracts more power from the sun, making every solar installation more powerful and accelerating the world’s ability to curb the worst impacts of climate change,” explained Van Mierlo in the CNBC interview. He further expressed his belief that the entire solar industry will transition to tandem panels within the next decade.

Additionally, CubicPV is actively searching for a suitable location in the United States to construct a new 10GW silicon wafer plant. This step signifies the company’s commitment to expanding its production capacity and contributing to the growth of the solar energy sector.

With the support of Bill Gates and ongoing technological advancements, CubicPV is making significant strides in the development of perovskite solar panels, offering a promising solution for a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Challenges ahead

But all is not rosy yet! Perovskites still face many hurdles in terms of cost and durability. 

Lead halide perovskites are winning the race to be the best performing so far but researchers are still trying to formulate other compositions to avoid lead toxicity.

Martin Green, who heads the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, told CNBC that silicon-based tandem cells are likely to be the next big development in solar technology even though they currently do not work well enough outside the lab.

“The big question is whether perovskite/silicon tandem cells will ever have the stability required to be commercially viable,” told CNBC Green.

“Although progress has been made since the first perovskite cells were reported, the only published field data for such tandem cells with competitive efficiency suggest they would only survive a few months outdoors even when carefully encapsulated.”

Will CubicPV be able to bypass this challenge and produce the tech the nation so desperately needs to make solar more viable and productive? Only time will tell.

Bill Gates Says OpenAl’s GPT is the Most Revolutionary Tech Development Since 1980

As important as the invention of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the cell phone was the development of artificial intelligence. It will alter how people work, study, travel, receive medical treatment, and interact with one another.

Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, claims that OpenAI’s GPT AI model is the greatest ground-breaking development in technology since he first encountered a contemporary graphical desktop experience (GUI) in 1980. Before then, command lines were utilized to control computers.

Bill Gates used “GUI” technology to create Windows, a potent piece of modern software. Gates now makes parallels to OpenAI’s GPT models, which can generate computer code that is nearly useable and language that closely resembles human output.

In a blog post, he claimed that he had earlier pushed the OpenAI group to develop an AI system that could pass the Advanced Placement Biology exam. GPT-4, which became publicly available last week, reportedly received the highest score from OpenAI. According to Gates, the entire experience “was wonderful.” I was aware that I had just witnessed the biggest development in technology since the graphical user interface was created.

OpenAI, the firm that developed the GPT model, has strong ties to Gates and Microsoft. Microsoft made a $10 billion investment in the firm and sells some of its AI technologies for sale via Azure cloud services. Gates suggests that in discussing AI, humans should “balance fears” about biased, inaccurate, or unpleasant technologies with the technology’s capacity to make life better. Moreover, he believes that governments and charitable groups ought to fund the development of AI technology to improve the health and education systems in underdeveloped countries, as corporations would not always choose to make such investments on their own.

OpenAI and Microsoft will collaborate with a new AI startup accelerator.

By joining together with OpenAI and Microsoft Corp, Neo, the startup accelerator established by Silicon Valley investor Ali Partovi, will provide free software and guidance to businesses in a new track that focuses on artificial intelligence.  

According to the firm’s announcement, businesses selected into Neo’s AI cohort will receive credits to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud as well as OpenAI’s GPT language generating tool, Dall-E picture production software, and other products. Moreover, Microsoft and OpenAI researchers and mentors will be available to the startups.

Microsoft also reportedly increased its investment in OpenAI by a whopping $10 billion, According to CB Insights, financing for startups in generative artificial intelligence, so named because the technologies are used to generate new material, reached $2.65 billion in 2022, a 71% rise from the previous year. Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., opened up access to Bard, a conversational AI service that competes with ChatGPT.

According to OpenAI Study, GPT Would Affect 80% of U.S. Employees’ Employment.

It won’t take long for AI to become a common tool in the workplace as sophisticated big language models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 grow more adept at writing, coding, and performing math with more precision and consistency. OpenAI is wagering that GPT models will automate at least a portion of the labor of the vast majority of people.

In a paper, researchers from OpenAI and the University of Pennsylvania hypothesised that at least 10% of the US workforce’s occupations might be affected by the introduction of GPTs, a group of well-known large language models developed by OpenAI.

They also discovered that roughly 19 percent of workers would have at least 50 percent of their duties disrupted. GPT exposure is stronger for higher-income employment, they stated in the report but spreads across practically all industries.

It covers 1,016 jobs with standardized descriptions and serves as the main occupational database in the U.S., to choose the tasks to test for each occupation. To assess if access to GPT directly or through a secondary GPT-powered system would save the time needed for a human to complete a given activity by at least 50%, they gathered both human and GPT-4 produced comments using a rubric. Increased exposure meant that GPT would produce work of higher quality while cutting the task’s completion time in half or more.

The relevance of scientific and critical thinking abilities is substantially negatively correlated with exposure, according to the study’s findings, which suggests that jobs requiring these skills are less likely to be damaged by existing language models. On the other hand, programming and writing abilities have a substantial positive correlation with exposure, suggesting that these professions are more prone to being impacted by language models. 

Mathematicians, tax prepares, authors, web designers, accountants, journalists, and legal secretaries are among the professions with the most exposure. Graphic designers, search marketing strategists, and finance managers are among the professions with the biggest variance or those least likely to be harmed by GPT.

The researchers also list the generally expected effects of GPT on various industries, with data processing services, information services, the publishing sector, and insurance carriers having the most and food manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, and support activities for agriculture and forestry having the least effects.  

Due to the human annotators’ familiarity with the capabilities of the models and the fact that they did not work in some of the jobs examined, the researchers concede that their study had limitations. Another drawback was that GPT-4’s results were not always the absolute truth since it was sensitive to the phrasing and structure of the prompt and occasionally made up data.  

Naturally, it should be mentioned that OpenAI itself created the content. As a for-profit organization creating AI models, OpenAI has a strong motive to present its tools as disrupting sectors and automating activities, which ultimately helps employers.  

Yet, the study shows how GPT models will soon be a widely utilized tool. Google and Microsoft have already announced that AI would be included in their search engines and other office tools like email and documents. Startups already use GPT-4 and its coding capabilities to cut costs on hiring human workers. According to the researchers’ analysis, LLMs like GPT-4 are likely to have widespread effects. Even if we stop developing new capabilities today, LLMs’ expanding economic impact is anticipated to continue and grow even if their capabilities have steadily increased over time.

Bill Gates likes ChatGPT.

One of this century’s most well-known computer titans, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, have been friends for a very long time. Also, they had a well-known, fierce competition that finally grew into friendship.

When asked what one lesson he took away from Jobs, Gates responded that his inspiration came from his understanding of design and marketing. “Steve taught me a lot” We had nothing in common. He didn’t even write a single line of code, but he had excellent design and marketing sense, and he also had a fantastic intuition for smart engineers. Steve was such a special person who could gain a lot from others.

He did overwork people, so he wasn’t a perfect thing. China has evolved from a technical backwater to one of the world’s top centers for innovation. Shenzhen, the third largest city in the nation, is sometimes referred to as a second Silicon Valley.

When asked whether Russia or China is a more innovative authoritarian state, “The amount of invention in China is fairly big, nothing like American levels,” Gates said. Despite having a smaller population and excellent arithmetic skills, Russia has never fully mastered scaling.

“They entirely abandoned medical innovation, despite the fact that they were excellent 50 years ago. So, yeah, I feel bad for the young generation there that might be making contributions to IT and health advancements. And because they will now be essentially cut off from it, some of them are fleeing the nation. ChatGPT’s most recent iteration is built on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 LLM (Large Language Model).