"We used to all have to go out and farm. We barely got enough food, when the weather was bad people would starve. Now through better seeds, fertilizer, lots of things, most people are not farmers. And so AI will bring us immense new productivity," says Gates.
Of course, the advancements and elimination of millions of farmers weren't all positive. As then-President Barack Obama put it in 2014, "There are a lot of big producers who are doing really well, but there are even more small farms, family farms, where folks are just scratching out a living and increasingly vulnerable to difficulties in financing and all the inputs involved... and it's very hard for young farmers to get started." He signed a $956 billion farm bill to help the sector.
Still, according to Gates, with increased productivity in some areas, displaced workers could fill gaps that currently exist elsewhere in the labor market — like elder care, teaching and support for special needs children, says Gates.
"This extra productivity is a very very good thing used in an enlightened way," says Gates.
It will also mean that we will all be able to work fewer hours, says the billionaire.