Bill Gates Is Always a Step Ahead of Us, Predicting the Future. Here Are 15 of His Predictions That Actually Came True.
Is Bill Gates the Nostradamus of the 21st century? You might believe that when you hear how whatever Bill Gates predicts comes true.
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1999… we mentioned this crazy year in our video, 15 Billion Dollar Ideas That Never Happened, when we fondly remembered Y2K, the year PayPal was voted one of the worst business ideas and the introduction of Spongebob Squarepants. It was also the year that Bill Gates released a book called Business @ the Speed of Thought, along with Collins Hemmingway.
The book brought forward several predictions, including Gate’s quote on mobile devices: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”
These days we have smartphones, smartwatches, even smart cars.
It’s an interesting book, as several predictions are highlighted and over the past 20 odd years, many as you will hear, have come true. Be sure to give it a listen on audible.com.
Gates foresaw a kind of social network where, “Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events.”
In a subsequent blog to this prediction, he does add that “I didn’t anticipate how much people would choose to filter out different perspectives and harden their own views.” I guess we can’t expect him to predict everything, right Aluxers?
Today, there are private websites available plus Facebook, WhatsApp, Insta, Signal and more – all allowing for us to plan events and chat to each other privately.
Yet another uncannily accurate prediction from Gates.
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Online Discussion Boards
There’s nothing better than opening up an online discussion board, looking up a contentious issue – and you won’t need to look far – grabbing a beverage, something to eat and sitting back and watching the action.
In fact, the topic doesn’t have to be contentious.
It could simply be, “I’m tired,” and next minute Samantha is hammering a reply into the keyboard, “You don’t know tired until you’ve worked a full time job like I do, and then have to look after kids at night time,” or Dylan, the keyboard warrior typing, “can you imagine how tired the people in Japan are, they literally die from lack of sleep.”
Gates said, “Residents of cities and countries will be able to have internet-based discussions concerning issues that affect them, such as local politics, city planning, or safety.”
Perhaps things didn’t quite turn out how Bill Gates predicted, but he’s pretty close. Quora, Reddit, local community forums, and so on, all encourage open discussion and participation, even if it’s just to point out how you couldn’t possibly be tired compared to others.
Bill Gates prediction, “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”
Aluxers, we’ve all made use of a price-comparison website at some stage and they do make our lives a lot easier.
Comparing things like flights, insurance, even groceries; saves us time and money.
Expedia, Shopzilla, Price Grabber or Google Shopping are all great at showing you different prices and are a good place to start if you’re looking to bag a bargain.
Instant Payment, Online Financing, and Better Healthcare
Your smartphone or watch is giving you hard to ignore signals that it’s time to get off your butt and start moving.
Your smartphone or watch is reminding you that you need to pay your dental account.
Your smartphone or watch is offering advice on your current investment account.
Yep, there’s a reason they’re called smart.
So, Gates said, “People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet…” And he was right.
Our wearable tech today helps us in so many ways. We can make doctors appointments and have consultations via a computer, you can do all your personal finance on your mobile device and make any payments.
We can take to heart what Bill Gates said, “I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”
Personal Assistants and the Internet of Things
Dreams of having our own personal assistant are no longer flights of fancy. Our phones and watches do the job perfectly, and we don’t have to pay someone a monthly stipend to answer our calls and balance our books.
Bill Gates predicted, “’Personal companions’ will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data. The device will check your email or notifications and present the information that you need.
When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you’re doing.”
Could he have been more spot on if he tried? Virtual assistants are the norm, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are part and parcel of most households and for many, without these “personal assistants,” they’d be disorganized and frazzled!
Automated Promotional Offers
How is it that often we speak about something and next minute we’re being suggested articles and products about… breeding quail eggs for example. However, long before that development – which makes sense considering that Siri, Google and Alexa are always turned on to hear our next instruction, Gate had an interesting prediction:
“Software that knows when you’ve booked a trip and uses that information to suggest activities at the local destination. It suggests activities, discounts, offers, and cheaper prices for all the things that you want to take part in.”
From there we moved on to sites that suggested offers and deals that thanks to software, knew what would interest us. And then we’d use all those great price comparison sites to find the best deal available… and the rest, as they say, is history.
Live Sports Discussion Sites
Let’s be honest Aluxers, people coaching from their sofas was bad enough, now even when you’re alone, you have to see what every couch coach believes should be happening on field.
Gates hit the nail on the head when he predicted, “While watching a sports competition on television, services will allow you to discuss what is going on live and enter contest where you vote on who you think will win.”
Today, there are several social media sites where you can comment on real-time sports and give your 2-sents worth on why the ref is biased, or why the coach doesn’t know what the f*ck he’s doing…
Big Brother’s watching you, Aluxers, and Bill Gates predicted this decades ago. He said, “Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home.”
Plus, they’re perfect for capturing footage of porch pirates… glitter bombs, dirty kitty litter and rocks are great decoys and payback parcels for porch pirates.
Internet Kiosks Would Be Everything
Some suggest that this is a prediction that Bill Gates got wrong, but we believe otherwise and here’s why. Gates predicted that there would be internet kiosks everywhere. He felt, “in much the same way that drinking fountains, rest rooms, and pay phones are available now.”
He believed the kiosks would replace ATM machines and payphones and people could purchase tickets and send and receive messages. These would ultimately replace your wallet if you left it at home.
So, why do we say he is correct?
Well – there may not be a physical kiosk – but there are hotspots everywhere. WiFi is available on public transport, in cafes, in hospitals – the world is your kiosk. And it can most certainly do all those things that Gates envisioned including replacing the wallet you left at home.
Pity you can’t use that excuse anymore!
An Epidemic Would Kill Millions
Who really predicted Covid? Was it – A: Bill Gates or B: The Simpsons?
According to Forbes.com – it wasn’t the Simpsons. Although they did feature a mysterious illness, called Osaka flu in the episode, “Marge in Chains,” but it bore little resemblance to what we’re experiencing currently.
Bill Gates is probably closer to the truth, although he didn’t quite say when or where it would occur.
These were his thoughts, which he shared on a TED Talk, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war — not missiles but microbes. He continued to say, “we have invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic.”
It’s certainly a good guess, and again, Gates got it right on the money. If you’d like to know where the Simpsons were correct on something that Bill Gates brought to life, be sure to stick around.
Did Covid destroy your traveling plans? Good news is, you can still travel to some countries without much hassle. Check out 15 Countries You Can Visit Without COVID Restrictions.
Mobile Banking Will Help the Poor Transform Their Lives
In our video, 15 things you didn’t know about blockchain, we highlight how blockchain in banking will improve the lives of the poor and Bill Gates predicted something similar.
In many poor countries, the banking infrastructure is just not there. It’s very difficult to come by cash yet the vast majority of people do have a mobile phone. So, what’s the alternative? Mobile banking.
Gates predicted that, “by 2030, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payment with their phones.”
Blockchain technology has already made that a reality. In time, people from financially unstable countries would have better access to online banking, savings accounts, access to credit and interest-bearing accounts and we’d see Gate’s vision of 2 billion people having a bank account become a reality.
Countless Jobs Will Be Lost to Automation
We’ve seen this happening in every industry, and Bill Gates saw it too. He once told Quartz that, “You cross the threshold of job-replacement of certain activities all sort of at once.” Basically, human workers will be replaced by robots, and that’s to be expected.
True, it’s not exactly his own prediction – because the writing was on the wall way before Gates ever turned on his first PC, but an interesting take is that Gates believes robots should be taxed too.
Like he says on Forbes.com, “Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
One prediction that leaves no room for “did he, didn’t he” get it right, is this one. Gates correctly predicted that the internet would change the way we consume media. When he predicted this, we were still blowing off the dust of our VHS cassettes and desperately trying to “track” the video machine to get rid of the fuzzy lines on screen.
In this case, he wasn’t even referring to DVDs. He said in an interview once, “Everything we’re talking about will have screens to guide you and when you pause there’ll be a built-in personality that’ll immediately jump in and help you.”
Thank you, Netflix, – we would never know where we left off in Firefly Lane if it wasn’t for you.
In this interview we just mentioned, Gates was chatting to Terry Pratchett. The interview appeared in the July 1995 edition of GQ magazine’s UK version.
Pratchett questioned Gates on whether the internet would make it easier for people to spread misinformation, to which Bill Gates predicted that there would be scope for misinformation, but in his words, “not for long.”
He said it would be easy for people to fact check and that fake news would encourage people to do that. Gates said, “The whole way that you can check somebody’s reputation will be so much more sophisticated on the Net than it is in print today.”
And we could agree more.
Aluxers, what’s your opinion on Bill Gates? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this business mogul, philanthropist, husband and father.