This week on the GeekWire radio show, we’re listening back to highlights from Bill Gates’ recent public appearance in Redmond for a major Microsoft Research event with academic researchers from around the world. In his introduction, Gates started with his thoughts on the state of technology today and where things are headed over the next decade.

Bill Gates at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. (Microsoft photo)

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re in a golden age of computer science,” he said, explaining that the original dream of infinite computing and infinite storage is practically a reality today. “It’s amazing for me to see how that’s being applied” in areas including computer vision, speech recognition, pen input, data-intensive modeling and machine learning, he said.

He explained, “It really seems like that idea of a powerful assistant that can help get things done, help drive deep insights, that the progress that we’ll make in the next five years, 10 years will be really unbelievable.”

During the show, my colleague John Cook and I also weigh in with our own thoughts on Gates’ comments, and the irony of the fact that Microsoft itself hasn’t capitalized on these trends as much as some of its larger rivals.

The Q&A session at the event brought out a wide range of topics, including Gates’ thoughts on his fellow billionaires and the potential to make an impact on the world; his take on the potential of robots; and more on the idea of digital assistants, and the possibility that Microsoft Bob was simply ahead of its time.

And in the last segment, we listen back to a great exchange from 2011 between Gates and a University of Washington student who asked him for tips on becoming a billionaire like him.

See this previous post to watch Gates’ entire talk at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit.

App of the Week: Here are the 8 books Bill Gates is reading this summer. (Under the theory that books are the original apps.)

Name that Tech Tune: Do you know your Windows trivia?

Listen to the show above or directly via this MP3 file.

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  • Patrick Husting

    Great show guys and I too miss Bill being at the forefront of Microsoft and technology. He was one of a VERY few CEOs that actually understood the technologies they sell.

    Also, the UW student at the end of the show. It is TOTALLY not about the money and really finding your passion and putting your all into it. If you do that, money will come. But if you are focused on money, you will fail.

    We always ask a money question to your new hires. If all they talk about is how they are going to make a ton of money, no hire.

    Great job, keep up the good work


    • Guest

      Gates is overrated as a CEO. The only reason some yearn for his return is because Ballmer is such an obvious incompetent. But let’s not forget that it was Gates who gave Ballmer the nod in 2000 and has kept him in power ever since, despite the strenuous objections of Wall St. and others.

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