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Bill Gates to Harvard students: 'This is a fascinating time to be alive'

Bill Gates, an American businessman and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation.
Sanchit Khanna | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

Bill Gates says he's envious of the complex problems that today's young people will get to solve.

During a Q&A at Harvard last month, the Microsoft co-founder told students that it's a "more interesting time to be lucky enough to be a student at Harvard" than it was when he entered the Ivy in 1973.

Gates continued: "The ability to take innovation and solve problems including: How do you help low income students do as well as high income students? How do you go to Africa and help the health and education and take the incredible population growth that will be there and make that a positive asset for that continent?"

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Today's hot topics, which also include climate change and artificial intelligence, are complex and wide-reaching, but that's what makes it "a fascinating time to be alive," he told students. "I don't know what it'll be like 50 or 60 years from now, what the problems will be. But in your generation, cancer, infectious disease, so many things will be solved."

If Gates had to pick one specific topic to zero in on if he were a Harvard student today, it would be artificial intelligence, since there are plenty of complex problems left to solve in the space, he said: "Computers still can't read. They cannot take a book of information and, say, pass an AP test on that book. And that's a solvable problem."

"I'm jealous that maybe one of you gets to work on that," he added. "It's the juiciest problem ever."

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