BILL Gates has warned of the next two disasters most likely to hit Earth – six years after he spookily predicted a coronavirus-style pandemic was on the way.
In a recent interview, the Microsoft co-founder said that he believes the greatest future threats to humanity are climate change and bioterrorism.
Gates, 65, told YouTube channel Veritasium that the world also wasn’t ready for the emergence of another deadly virus in years to come.
The American tech tycoon cautioned during a TedTalk in 2015 that civilisation was ill-prepared for a deadly epidemic.
He said the disaster would involve a virus “where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market”.
The billionaire’s comments came five years before the coronavirus pandemic which has now killed 2.3million people worldwide.
Looking back on his 2015 talk, Gates told Veritasium last week: “The next outbreak? we’re not ready.
“There’s no good feeling that comes with something like this, saying ‘I told you so’.”
He added: “Could I have been more persuasive? There are a number of respiratory viruses and from time to time one will come along.
“Respiratory diseases are very scary because you’re still walking around on a plane, a bus when you’re infectious.
“Unlike some other diseases like Ebola where you are mostly in a hospital bed by the time viral load infects other people.”
Gates, who with his wife Melinda runs the Gates Foundation, which helps to eradicate infectious diseases around the world, also offered his take on the major threats faced by the world today.
He said: “One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic.”
He added: “Bio-terrorism. Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one.”
The philanthropist added that humanity does not have the power to stop pandemics.
However, we can do more to ensure we’re ready for the next one, “so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today”, he added.
In the past, Gates has warned that super-intelligent machines pose a serious threat to humanity.
“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” Gates said in 2015.
“First, the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well.
“A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”
And he’s not the only tech mogul with AI doomsday concerns.
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk worries killer robots are a “fundamental risk” to humanity.
“AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation than be reactive,” he told the National Governors Association in 2017.
He went on to say: “I have exposure to the most cutting-edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it.”
The Sun (US)