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Years ago, I read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and was blown away.

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Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates
My latest podcast is all about learning something new
What do you do when you can’t solve a problem? I like to talk to smart people who can help me understand the subject better. I call this process “getting unconfused”—and I think it is one of the best ways to learn something new. On my podcast, I try to get unconfused about some of the things that fascinate me. Join me on my learning journey as I talk to brilliant guests about Alzheimer’s, artificial intelligence, the future of education, plant-based meat, the evolution of language, marijuana, and more.
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Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 7
Hannah Ritchie
2/1/2024 6:00:00 PM

When I start to feel overwhelmed by the climate challenges we face, I turn to Hannah Ritchie, a researcher at Our World in Data. Her data-driven approach is an essential antidote to environmental doomsday-ism and provides some much-needed optimism about humanity’s ability to tackle big problems. I recently sat down with Hannah to talk about her terrific new book Not the End of the World, why it’s so hard to wrap our minds around human progress, what we would ask a time traveler about the future, and more.

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When I start to feel overwhelmed by the climate challenges we face, I turn to Hannah Ritchie, a researcher at Our World in Data. Her data-driven approach is an essential antidote to environmental doomsday-ism and provides some much-needed optimism about humanity’s ability to tackle big problems. I recently sat down with Hannah to talk about her terrific new book Not the End of the World, why it’s so hard to wrap our minds around human progress, what we would ask a time traveler about the future, and more.

Available wherever you listen to your podcasts on February 1.
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 6
Sam Altman
1/11/2024 6:00:00 PM

If you ask people to name leaders in artificial intelligence, there’s one name you’ll probably hear more than any other: Sam Altman. His team at OpenAI is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do with ChatGPT, and I loved getting to talk to him about what’s next. Our conversation covered why today’s AI models are the stupidest they’ll ever be, how societies adapt to technological change, and even where humanity will find purpose once we’ve perfected artificial intelligence.

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If you ask people to name leaders in artificial intelligence, there’s one name you’ll probably hear more than any other: Sam Altman. His team at OpenAI is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do with ChatGPT, and I loved getting to talk to him about what’s next. Our conversation covered why today’s AI models are the stupidest they’ll ever be, how societies adapt to technological change, and even where humanity will find purpose once we’ve perfected artificial intelligence.

Available wherever you listen to your podcasts on January 11.
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 5
Yejin Choi
11/16/2023 6:00:00 PM

Few people are better at explaining the science of artificial intelligence than Yejin Choi. She’s a computer science professor at the University of Washington, senior research director at the Allen Institute for AI, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. I thought her recent TED talk was terrific, and I was thrilled to talk to her about how you train a large language model, why it’s so hard for robots to pick tools out of a box, and why universities must play a key role in the future of AI research.

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Few people are better at explaining the science of artificial intelligence than Yejin Choi. She’s a computer science professor at the University of Washington, senior research director at the Allen Institute for AI, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. I thought her recent TED talk was terrific, and I was thrilled to talk to her about how you train a large language model, why it’s so hard for robots to pick tools out of a box, and why universities must play a key role in the future of AI research.

Available wherever you listen to your podcasts on November 16.
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 4
John McWhorter
9/7/2023 7:00:00 AM

I recently started learning French, and the process has made one thing clear to me: There’s a lot I don’t understand about how languages work. So, I turned to John McWhorter, a linguist who has dedicated his career to demystifying the roughly 7,000 languages spoken around the world. When he isn’t busy writing books, John is a professor at Columbia University, host of his own podcast, and frequent lecturer for Great Courses. He helped me understand why English is so irregular, what the ideal language would look like, why all dialects are created equal, and more.

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I recently started learning French, and the process has made one thing clear to me: There’s a lot I don’t understand about how languages work. So, I turned to John McWhorter, a linguist who has dedicated his career to demystifying the roughly 7,000 languages spoken around the world. When he isn’t busy writing books, John is a professor at Columbia University, host of his own podcast, and frequent lecturer for Great Courses. He helped me understand why English is so irregular, what the ideal language would look like, why all dialects are created equal, and more.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts on September 7th
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 3
Questlove
8/24/2023 7:00:00 AM

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is the ultimate multi-hyphenate: He’s a musician, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and more. The Grammy and Oscar winner is also a plant-based foods advocate, so when I had some questions about the future of food, I knew I had to sit down with him. We had a blast talking about why he made a meatless Philly cheesesteak, how we make healthy food accessible to more people, Questlove’s insane record collection, how we got our nicknames, and our Wordle strategies.

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Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is the ultimate multi-hyphenate: He’s a musician, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and more. The Grammy and Oscar winner is also a plant-based foods advocate, so when I had some questions about the future of food, I knew I had to sit down with him. We had a blast talking about why he made a meatless Philly cheesesteak, how we make healthy food accessible to more people, Questlove’s insane record collection, how we got our nicknames, and our Wordle strategies.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts on August 24th
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 2
Sal Khan
8/10/2023 7:00:00 AM

Sal Khan is a true pioneer of harnessing the power of technology to help kids learn. So, when I wanted to learn more about how artificial intelligence will transform education, I knew I had to talk to the founder of Khan Academy. I loved chatting with Sal about why tutoring is so important, how his new service Khanmigo is making the most of ChatGPT, and how we can keep teachers at the center of the classroom in the age of AI. We even found time to talk about our favorite teachers and the subject we wish we’d studied in school.

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Sal Khan is a true pioneer of harnessing the power of technology to help kids learn. So, when I wanted to learn more about how artificial intelligence will transform education, I knew I had to talk to the founder of Khan Academy. I loved chatting with Sal about why tutoring is so important, how his new service Khanmigo is making the most of ChatGPT, and how we can keep teachers at the center of the classroom in the age of AI. We even found time to talk about our favorite teachers and the subject we wish we’d studied in school.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts on August 10th
Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 1
Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen
7/27/2023 7:00:00 AM

Can Alzheimer’s disease be funny? I was skeptical, especially given the devastating experience my family had watching my dad suffer from it. So, I asked two experts in using humor to raise awareness—Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen—to help me see the light. We had a great conversation about their organization Hilarity for Charity, hope for the future of Alzheimer’s research, the importance of a good night’s sleep, and why Seth started a cannabis lifestyle company

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Can Alzheimer’s disease be funny? I was skeptical, especially given the devastating experience my family had watching my dad suffer from it. So, I asked two experts in using humor to raise awareness—Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen—to help me see the light. We had a great conversation about their organization Hilarity for Charity, hope for the future of Alzheimer’s research, the importance of a good night’s sleep, and why Seth started a cannabis lifestyle company

Available wherever you listen to podcasts on July 27, 2023
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions
I teamed up with actress and writer Rashida Jones to create a podcast that tackles some of the biggest questions facing us today: Is it too late to solve climate change? Does everybody lie? Is inequality inevitable? You can listen to each episode below and even access exclusive bonus content by becoming a Gates Notes Insider.
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Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 5
Can people really change?
12/14/2020 12:00:00 AM

2020 has been a year of change. From the presidential election to the pandemic, it’s clear that the world will never be the same after this year—and neither will all of us who experienced it. In the season finale, Bill and Rashida explore how progress hinges on society’s ability to evolve, how our view of the world shifts as we get older, and whether it’s actually possible to change someone’s mind. Then they’re joined by two people who are using their positions as artists to change the world for the better: Bono and Kerry Washington.

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2020 has been a year of change. From the presidential election to the pandemic, it’s clear that the world will never be the same after this year—and neither will all of us who experienced it. In the season finale, Bill and Rashida explore how progress hinges on society’s ability to evolve, how our view of the world shifts as we get older, and whether it’s actually possible to change someone’s mind. Then they’re joined by two people who are using their positions as artists to change the world for the better: Bono and Kerry Washington.

Read more
Episode 05 airs on December 14<sup>th</sup>.
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 4
Is it too late to stop climate change?
12/7/2020 12:00:00 AM

Climate change is the most daunting challenge of our time. Tackling it will require unprecedented amounts of innovation, investment, and global cooperation. Are we actually making progress yet? Can we really stop the worst effects of climate change? In this week’s episode, Bill and Rashida take on perhaps their biggest question yet with an assist from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert.

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Climate change is the most daunting challenge of our time. Tackling it will require unprecedented amounts of innovation, investment, and global cooperation. Are we actually making progress yet? Can we really stop the worst effects of climate change? In this week’s episode, Bill and Rashida take on perhaps their biggest question yet with an assist from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert.

Read more
Episode 04 airs on December 7<sup>th</sup>.
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 3
Why do we believe lies?
11/30/2020 12:00:00 AM

Honesty is a core value in most cultures. But humanity has always been obsessed with untruths, from little white lies to vast conspiracy theories. Bill and Rashida are joined by <i>Sapiens</i> author and historian Yuval Noah Harari to talk about why we’re so willing to believe falsehoods and what these lies tell us about ourselves—both as individuals and as a society.

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Honesty is a core value in most cultures. But humanity has always been obsessed with untruths, from little white lies to vast conspiracy theories. Bill and Rashida are joined by <i>Sapiens</i> author and historian Yuval Noah Harari to talk about why we’re so willing to believe falsehoods and what these lies tell us about ourselves—both as individuals and as a society.

Read more
Episode 03 airs on November 30<sup>th</sup>.
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 2
Is inequality inevitable?
11/23/2020 12:00:00 AM

2020 has brought to light a lot of issues, including growing inequality in the United States. We're seeing huge gaps in income, access to healthcare, and quality of education across the country. Economist Raj Chetty joins the podcast to talk about his groundbreaking research on opportunity in America. Then Mayor Aja Brown joins the conversation to talk about how she&rsquo;s leveling the playing field in Compton.

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2020 has brought to light a lot of issues, including growing inequality in the United States. We're seeing huge gaps in income, access to healthcare, and quality of education across the country. Economist Raj Chetty joins the podcast to talk about his groundbreaking research on opportunity in America. Then Mayor Aja Brown joins the conversation to talk about how she&rsquo;s leveling the playing field in Compton.

Read more
Episode 02 airs on November 23<sup>rd</sup>.
Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 1
What will the world look like after COVID-19?
11/16/2020 12:00:00 AM

Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve heard the same refrain: we need to get back to normal. But what does “normal” even mean after such a history-changing event? Bill and Rashida discuss how COVID-19 will forever change our workplaces, our schools, and even our social lives. They also get real with NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci about what we can expect in the months ahead.

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Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve heard the same refrain: we need to get back to normal. But what does “normal” even mean after such a history-changing event? Bill and Rashida discuss how COVID-19 will forever change our workplaces, our schools, and even our social lives. They also get real with NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci about what we can expect in the months ahead.

Read more
Series premiere November 16<sup>th</sup>.
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