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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  November 25, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: bill gates is here. he is the microsoft cofounder and cochair of the bill and melinda gates foundation. he has gathered investors to put billions into clean energy research and development. the group is known as the breakthrough coalition. it includes jeff bezos and jack ma. they commit government to double funding. the initiatives were announced in november at the climate summit in paris where 190 members reached a landmark agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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i am pleased to welcome bill gates back to this table. welcome. bill: thank you. charlie: here is what seems to me, with all of the concentration on the station, all of the great things that have taken place, two things come out of it. one is agriculture and your understanding of how crucial agriculture was and second is energy. so you pose this question. if you could have a superpower, what would it be? you could think about being able to defy gravity. being able to see through walls. anything. but you said what? bill: i said energy. getting energy for everyone would transform their life as much as anything i can think of. the idea of flipping a light switch on or setting the
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temperature to hot or cold, if you went to somebody in africa who does not have energy and said that was possible, it would seem as bizarre as somebody flying or seeing through walls. it really is a kind of superpower. americans have the equivalent of 200 humans pushing an axle on their behalf so their lights light up and materials get made and their food gets made. you know, it is that much -- modern life is that much about energy intensity. charlie: you'd showed two things of interest. you showed a map of africa at night, and parts of africa are almost dark. 18% of the population do not have electricity. bill: in africa, unless we do better than the current
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expectation, 80% will be without withoutf the people africa 30y will be in years from now. they have not progressed to that much. when you go there at night, melinda and i were at the suburbs, it is eerie because all of the light is people burning things. you think that this is some strange movie, not a city at all. charlie: the goal is to cut greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050? bill: yeah, as long as you are emitting greenhouse gases, co2 in particular, it stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. not all of it, but most of it. the rest of it goes into the soil or the oceans, and then you have acidification problems. that long residence in the atmosphere means as long as you
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are increasing co2, you have a positive warming trend, and that warming trend is what creates the strange weather and causes crops to not grow as well, and particularly in equatorial regions, you are getting up to heat levels that plants and humans do very poorly at. ironically, as you go to northern latitudes, there is a net benefit there, but a lot of humanity, particularly the poorest, live in the area where the heat will cause terrible problems. charlie: the majority of the world's energy is produced by fossil fuels. bill: overwhelmingly. and if you take the forecast made, without some incredible innovation, that will continue for 40 years. very responsible forecasts of the path we are on today, we will not be able to make a change away from that. charlie: unless we do what?
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bill: innovation to me is the answer to most problems, including energy. i think of india as paradigmatic because they do not have electricity, they are collecting firewood. the women are breathing smoke. they get respiratory disease. it is awful for their health, even if they survive. they do not have light at night to read. they can't get protein in their diet. there is every reason why india should have electricity. it's great for their people. unfortunately, these straightforward path to get there is coal. yet india is big enough, there's enough people, if they go down that path, we will not meet any of our climate change goals. and yet, today, we have no alternative that is even close to as cheap, including reliability, which is always a
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fundamental characteristic of energy systems. you cannot power india as cheaply with the other things as you can with coal. only through innovation can you square the circle and say should india electrify as fast as it can or should india avoid greenhouse gas emission? but they will not admit as we have for 100 years. charlie: is this it your biggest passion? bill: it is the long lead time thing that requires so much coordination and science and politics come together -- i am very fascinated by it. i still have polio eradication and our health stuff as the things where i feel it, gosh, we are on track. we know what to do. this one is in the category of great importance and if you wait
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20 years to get started, then the time it takes to invent, to change the system, you are really going to miss the window on it. it has a funny kind of urgency even though the damage in the next 20, 30 years is not that dramatic. charlie: you've got to get it started? bill: absolutely. charlie: you believe you could get to zero by the beginning of the next entry? bill: i believe innovation -- there are so many different paths. we only need one of them to work to get us the cheap, reliable energy, yes. then you have to deploy that and get to these what are wildly ambitious goals. charlie: talking about innovation -- you talk about an energy miracle. what would that be? bill: well, anything that is half the price of today's energy -- cheaper than coal -- and totally reliable, does not depend on the wind blowing or the sun shining, that is an
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energy miracle. for example, if you could take sunlight and directly make gasoline from sunlight, that is called solar fuels, and there are scientists who can do that. now, it's about 100 times less efficient than it needs to be to make any sense, and so, that one is not even ready for a startup company. that when needs to be in government labs getting research funding, three or four times what it is getting today, and with luck, it will get to the point where companies will get started and high risk, high return investors will come along. charlie: you are looking for a miracle. you want to invest both private funding -- and at the same time you want to make sure the government has a role? bill: that is right. basic research. their unique role is basic
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research. the universities, the private labs. you will not get private investors to fund the level of research because that's just the very beginning, material science , stronger magnets, tensile strength, things that are -- will be critical, just like in the medical sector. there is a great pharmaceutical industry, but the u.s. government spends $30 billion a year on basic health research, and it has been fantastic for the country, it has been fantastic for the world. in energy, we are down at less than $6 billion, and that is the number i am hoping, and the commitment was made in paris by 20 governments, including the
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united states, to double their energy r&d over a five-year period, and that will raise the supply of innovations and make it easier for these amazing groups of investors. charlie: this foundation letter -- who is it addressed to? i had the impression you are addressing this to high schools students. bill: right, that is a new thing for us. the two things, which i elaborate on -- and melinda talks about women, and women have to spend lots of extra time, more than men do in the household -- charlie: melinda writes about this? bill: right. the kid in the high school newspaper in appalachia, kentucky, great high school, asked us about superpowers, and she said time and i said energy. as we talked about it, that really pointed out to us that those are such basic things about the experience of poor people, and even in the u.s., people appreciate how importance energy is.
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there is still a time imbalance. those became the theme, and yet these are not problems there is some 10-year solution to. the younger generation there voiced their willingness to look at things in new ways. today's teenagers will be in their 20's, and a lot of them, the thinking that drives innovation comes from that group. charlie: what are three crazy ideas you think might have potential? bill: i mentioned the sun being used to generate fuels. that is unique because, unlike generating electricity where batteries that store electricity are super expensive and do not last very long, storing gasoline in a big gasoline tank, you just make the tank bigger and they can sit there as long as you want. when you want the energy, you just burn it and it is very dense. it is 10 times more dense in
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energy content than the best batteries we have today. that would really be special. taking nuclear energy and overcoming a number of problems, the cost of the plants, this safety of the plants where people worry, will you have another fukushima or even chernobyl type accident, that is a path we can go down. we could take wind that is way up in the jet stream, and capture that. now that requires materials that are ultra strong, which would be valuable for many things. i mean, you could build bridges that would last forever. we are really on the verge of that type of understanding. there are two things that people think about. you can take solar and wind and make them very cheap.
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that's probably not too hard. then you could have a battery that is 10 or 20 times better than any battery we have today. charlie: what is so difficult about finding better batteries? bill: the problem is its chemistry, and the number of charges you can put into an area, those rules, there's not like some semiconductor thing that lets us just jam those things in. what happens is you are going between a liquid phase and a solid phase. as you do that, the solid tends to degrade. if batteries could last instead of 400 cycles of charge/discharge, if they could last 4000, that would change. there are ideas along those lines. i would say all of them are having a tough time because proving that something does not degrade in some physical way over 4000 cycles, if not something you can test overnight
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-- it's very pragmatic stuff. that is why batteries over the last 100 years have not improved as much as we would need them to to make this the path to do that. now that is a very possible path. we should invest in the research and the companies along that path. but that is the one most people think is going to come and it's not as easy as they think. charlie: 50 years? bill: you can't put a time on it. you take 12 paths -- nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, the batteries -- there's a total of about 12, including taking and burning hydrocarbons and capturing the carbon from the chimney stack, that's another one. if you have five companies on each of these, so 60 total, and they get the basic research backing them up and they get the
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risk capital, he even if individually they are only 20% likely, if you pursue those 60 different things, then in aggregate, the chance of success is very high. and that is what i think we should do. ♪
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charlie: a two-part question
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before we turn to health and all you're doing. have climate deniers gain strength or where would you put that component of our population? bill: the problem of climate denial is not a huge problem outside the united states. charlie: why is that? bill: that's a good question. the policymakers on many issues like agricultural crops like gmo's, europe is more skeptical than the u.s. is. on climate change, we are uniquely skeptical, particularly in terms of telling policymakers, hey, look askance at that. there's another group that is a little bit of a problem who believe the climate is a problem but think it is easy to solve. ok, hey, as soon as the utility guys don't stand in the way of rooftop solar, this thing is
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solved, not just for the u.s., but the entire world, not just for the power sector, but transport, industry, home, everything we need. that notion that there are simple solutions. for the november talks, the idea of improving innovation, the r&d was not discussed. i'm actually still amazed at that. the 20 countries did commit -- including china and india. all the big ones you would want to. they made the commitment. we have put a lot of money into the demand side for clean energy. we have tax credits. we have what are called renewable portfolio standards
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where utilities are required to buy a certain percentage of their energy from these renewable sources. if you take the effect of payments that increase the price of energy, we put a lot in the demand side -- so does germany and japan and others -- we need to have a balance where we are driving the supply innovation as well. charlie: let me turn to this recent experience, everybody is talking about these eco-virus. everyone is talking about -- what did we learn from the ebola crisis? bill: in the case of ebola, the private sector's ability to make diagnostics and drugs and vaccines, that was together very slowly. there is no road map for, hey, where's our liability?
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where is the regulatory path? if there are three or four companies working on it, which one has the best one and should work twice as fast, which should drop out -- that was chaotic. only now do we have these good ebola tools, which if that had spread a lot faster, we would have felt terrible about that. zika is, of course, different. it is spread by mosquito. there is still a lot of measurement being done to understand, is there some narrow part of your pregnancy where you can be affected? is it required you also had dengue fever at some point? it's great the emergency was declared. this time, figuring out the private sector innovations, and including in this case killing mosquitoes, because this particular mosquito, aedes
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aegypti, lived in urban areas along the equator. now we wish that we eradicated it. this mosquito carries dengue, zika, chikungunya, and historically most important was yellow fever. charlie: you have said mosquitoes are the most dangerous animal on earth. bill: that's right. in terms of what kills the most humans. do humans kill the most humans? do sharks? humans killing humans is a strong number too. but unless war gets extreme in some year, the 600,000-plus kids who die of malaria, which is a
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mosquito-caused death, that is the animal that generates the most mortality. charlie: and malaria? bill: it's all malaria. there's a few others, but malaria is 95%. charlie: what should we do about the mosquito? bill: there are a couple ideas for changing the mosquito we have been funding in order to work on dengue and malaria. one is you put a bacteria into the mosquito, and then it doesn't carry the parasite partly at all. so, we have done field trials on that, and it appears that also does work -- it works for dengue. it appears it also works for zika. an even more powerful tool that spreads faster, but more
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controversial, is to take our new gene editing technology and have male and female mosquitoes pass along either something that prevents them from carrying the virus or something that kills the progeny. those are both approaches. but use gene editing, gene drive, which means all of your children, male and female, inherit something, even if only one of your parents have it, that it is dominant in that generation to either not survive or to carry the bad virus. charlie: if you were working at a high school today -- if you come in a high school today, knowing what you know in terms of what is happening in genomics -- you just mentioned gene editing, and what is going on in technology -- which field would you enter? bill: it is a hard choice nowadays.
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charlie: because the others are so exciting? bill: division in robotics continues to be a very exciting. not without challenges, but mostly positive enablement. it's a wonderful field and would generate tons of jobs people would want. the medical work is also an incredible thing, understanding how these genes work. in some cases you are using the digital tools to track the genes and understand them. there are companies working on robotic-assisted surgery that could raise the quality and lower the cost -- charlie: coming together between genomics and technology. bill: exactly. so the field of technology is so amazing.
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i also want to say energy because we want bright minds there as well. charlie: and not having energy, they will not have full development? bill: as we uplift more countries, then they get more educated and contribute more -- the u.s. leads in science, but countries like china now will also contribute. charlie: and you mentioned the letter -- i mention it again, the idea is clean energy. not just innovation, but clean energy. bill: that's right. greenhouse gases has constrained -- it would be nice if it was only a 20% reduction, but essentially eliminating it from energy systems, that is daunting, but necessary enough that all of this parallel work is needed. charlie: you have artificial intelligence.
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part of that has to do with robotics and finding out what that means in terms of jobs and what does it mean in terms of population that may not have a job. but there are also things that concern you that concern other people. just you. what is your concern about artificial intelligence? bill: in the long run, the scale of the intelligence is unbounded. charlie: we don't know how smart we can get? bill: it will get a lot smarter than us. it will get so smart, we can say, hey, how smart are you? and it will tell us. the near-term problem, predictably in the 20-year timeframe, is labor substitution, not super intelligence.
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that is kind of -- you help every kid in school, every handicapped kid, every elderly person. you should be able to reallocate -- hey, if you are not needed to work in that warehouse, go out and do other things. charlie: this dovetails into what melinda says about time. bill: that's right. it will free up time doing the drudgery things, so all the things about spending time with the kids and being more connected socially, we should be able to do more of that. charlie: there is a wonderful story in part of the letter, i guess it was a family in africa, and the wife spent all of her time going to get water and bringing it back, and finally she is about ready to leave the marriage, and he comes home and the bags are packed your it and he says, what can i do -- i'm paraphrasing -- and she said, i'm doing all the stuff. i'm doing everything.
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all the stuff at home, and you need to help me. and he agrees. he starts taking the water himself. they split that. all of a sudden, he gets involved and they determined there are smarter ways to do this. they start collecting rain. her point is, freeing up people to have time to participate in all of the issues jointly. bill: yeah, that was interesting because when he first helped out, he was ridiculed by the other men. he was like, well, no, i'm going to keep doing this. what they told melinda was, that set an example for that village. we have a tiny case of that where i was driving -- when i was ceo of microsoft -- our children to school quite a bit, and apparently -- i don't know for sure, but otherwise used that to encourage their husbands -- [laughter] bill: they could not say they were too much more busy than i was at that particular time. charlie: back to artificial intelligence -- what is the timeframe on this?
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bill: for labor substitution, it will be substantial in the five to 20-year period. warehouse, security, things that computers used to not be able to see and we are really good of physical manipulation -- making the bed, cleaning up around, carrying a patient upstairs. the amount of adjustment and ability, it's quite incredible. but once software achieves those things, it is unbounded. like sorting parts in a warehouse. picking things out of a bin, computers are just now getting to human level. the problem is, 10 years from
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now, they will be at three or four times the human level and humans are not on that same type of improvement curve. it's like farming. saying tractors will destroy the world. because that took generations, people did adjust. here, the speed will come a little faster and some people do not think it will happen because we have been saying that this would happen before it did and it's like, they have been saying that. and it is true. we cried wolf and then there is a wolf. charlie: on the more concerning side in terms of intelligence, is there a breakthrough necessary or is it so underway that it is just time and accumulation of technological advantages? bill: on the labor piece, hardly any of the experts in the field would disagree that that is coming. on this piece about intelligence you could get the very best people in the field and half
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would say -- that will never happen or it will take forever. i am amazed that it is not a subject of which there is consensus. charlie: are you as worried as elon musk? bill: yes. charlie: who says it is more dangerous than nuclear catastrophe? bill: yes, because if this happens it changes life as we know it so life is changed for the entire population. charlie: what is the worst scenario? bill: that the machine is far more intelligent -- charlie: and therefore, they control us? bill: and therefore, our sense of purpose, and which humans are in control of it, or are they in control of it, will have profound consequences. charlie: how long before that happens?
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bill: when people answer that question they are a little bit guessing. i don't think it will happen in less than 40 years i cannot say for sure it will happen in less than 100. charlie: 40 years is 2056. bill: that's no time at all. charlie: this is in the lifetime of your children. even if it's 100 years -- bill: the thing about this one is not to panic -- charlie: in 50 years machines are smarter than humans? bill: because humans created them. charlie: but they will determine the future of the world. bill: humans will control them. charlie: so humans can decide what goes in or comes out? bill: certainly the likely place to start out is some subset of humans who control those machines.
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charley: and who are they? bill: the private sector is doing more state of the art artificial intelligence work than the public sector. charlie: but great advances, including the internet, came from the defense department. bill: in the early stage yes but then they had contractors like bpm and eventually the infrastructure got on the private side. the i.t. revolution has largely moved to be private sector-funded. charlie: but you are saying it's no longer happening there. it's all in the private sector. i'm finding out people in
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venture capital are pouring money into it because they believe it will unlock some kind of future. bill: even if you focus on it as a narrow thing you may be creating a general capacity for intelligence. charlie: there is a lot of that now even, as you would know. bill: so it's a thing where the discussion and the debate ought to begin. it's not like banning that research would be a good move because that just pushes it to less visible locations. charley: speaking of a public debate that ought to begin, let's talk security versus privacy, encryption, apple, the fbi and the federal government. where do you stand? bill: it would not be valuable if the safeguards the government had, in terms of information it was acquiring, when it would go for that information and how it would deal with it, that people
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felt comfortable with that because if the government is blind, then things like tax evasion, child pornography and most importantly terrorism enabled by nuclear and biological weapons -- our government is not able to fulfill some role of stopping those things. so, it's great that people are talking more, post snowden and everyone about how do you feel about those safeguards. if we cannot as a society discuss those safeguards in a -- and build them in a way we feel good about, then the government will not be able to fulfill its function. ♪
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charlie: if you are responsible for the decision as to whether apple should allow the government one-time only to come in and provide in their labs software so the government can try to have access, are you in favor of that, in favor of a private company in this circumstance, apple, particularly in their own lab, and they are able to destroy whatever they create after they do this for the government one time only, should they do that? bill: in every case up until now when the government has come in
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and said, what's the banking information, you know, banks like to keep their customer information private. no bank has ever defied the government, and i think apple at the end are just forcing a complete judicial process. i don't think apple is saying that when it goes to the supreme court they are saying they will defy the government. charley: no, they are not, but they are saying right now they will not do it so it will be appealed to the district court and appeals court. i'm just asking, what would you do if you were the executive? would you do the same thing as tim cook? bill: i think they are saying that as a society, we think this discussion of safeguards is important. i don't disagree with that. charlie: nobody disagrees with that. bill: at the end of the day we want a government that has visibility and we trust it to use that on our behalf.
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that is where, in order to stop innovation in biological weaponry from being turned against humanity, you really need government to have a role of trust. historically, the fbi in some cases, they have not always earned that trust. but i claim its important for the public that we figure out the structure that would put us back into a situation where the u.s. government has the safeguards and we do trust it so that if the courts rule against apple we are not saying that is a terrible thing. charlie: you are as versed in all of this as anyone i know. bill: the only choice that apple has is to decide whether to comply with the lower court or wait for the higher court ruling. they have chosen to wait for the
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higher court ruling. charlie: which? bill: which over time i expect the government will decide not to be blind and it will exercise its sovereign power not to be blind. there will have been a debate about what visibility they have. charlie: are you ok with tim cook waiting until it walks through the judicial process? is it possible to do a one-time only, in this case, in this one computer, one iphone that belonged to a terrorist? bill: apple agrees that it is possible. by doing it, it proves that they can do so. but they have already admitted they can do so. your bank can take your banking information and give it to the u.s. government. they have that ability. your phone company can take your phone calls and give it to the u.s. government. charlie: but they have an encrypted iphone that does not allow them to do that. bill: that is false.
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the information that the government is seeking is not in the security processor. the logic about challenging the security processor with the pin is not in the security processor. there is not a technological question here. charlie: what is the question? bill: the question is, what will the final court rule on this issue? that is really the only question. charlie: why is it so hard to get you to say yay or nay? most of silicon valley is supporting what apple is doing. they say we do not think the government should be able to access an encrypted phone. apple says we don't how to do it, but we know that they do. bill: right. endorsing the idea of all of the
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government's behavior with accessing information in the past, nobody would want to do that. there are cases where the government overused -- more j edgar hoover, it's more clear. so the idea that you are forcing the discussion about, gosh, what would it mean if you cannot trust the government ever to get banking information or call information or iphone information -- it would be great if we could agree on what safeguards would get us back to saying that at least this government is working on our behalf when it is trying to track down terrorists. charlie: apple must have known this was coming because between ios 7 and ios 8 you have a very different situation. in terms of encrypted phones. yes or no?
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bill: the information on that phone is accessible to apple. if anybody was confused about that, now they are not. that information is accessible to apple. that's a technological thing. which doesn't really matter. it's like your bank saying we cannot possibly access your account information. they can and they can resist court orders if they choose to as well. charlie: this is a hard case because of terrorism, because there is no violation -- the person who had the phones, two people are dead. bill: right, so the issue is the presidential fact, is this a government who safeguards information? will they use this revealed capability in an appropriate way? charlie: that is why you have judicial standards, is it not? bill: and why we have a democracy that sits and debates about what should the patriot
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act version one through four look like and congress could decide that the government never gets to see bank accounts or travel records. it's all political. the statutes in question here were enacted by the united states congress and it turns out they are using one from a long time ago, but eventually as it has been with the patriot act this will all be subject to democratic discussions. it won't be corporations in the end although they can talk to congressmen just like anyone else. charlie: this is one thing i don't understand. and maybe you can help me understand it. obviously apple knows they can do it if they are directed to do it, supreme court says the law of the land is that you have to do it, they will do it but they said are fighting it because there is no such thing as a
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one-time only fix. if they do this for the government that all the people who have bought iphones under the assumption that they were protected will come after them. the district attorney here in new york said i have 120 cases in which it is about encrypted data in an iphone and every one of them i would like to see opened up because it will be evidentiary and important to me. apple says in china people bought those phones because they thought they would be safe from challenge. now they believe that you cannot have a one-time only solution here. that in fact, if apple does this, what their business model was about, what their marketing was about, what their relationship with their customer was about will be voided. are they right or wrong? bill: they can access this information. charlie: you have said that three times, i know that. but they say if they access it for this case than everything we
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have built -- bill: just like your bank or phone company, that's right. anyone who says they can override a sovereign may in the end not be able to do that. charlie: how is microsoft different? bill: all of the tech companies are insisting that the government have really formal orders for anything that they do. no tech company is ever going to volunteer information. there is still some discretion about, do you force us to go to the whole process but the basic view is that this is a political decision about when governments can access information and what those safeguards look like, and i would say that tech companies are for good reasons saying
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hey, let's really have this debate about safeguards because -- in the digital world, and the amount of information about your behavior is larger. in some cases like london where they have cameras, they have dropped crime rates and various things, and is that ok? in the u.k. they have decided that the net benefit of that is that countries will have different rules about these things. charlie: i think you did a thing in london on the desert isle. what did you choose as the music you would bring to the island? bill: there is a willie nelson song that he happened to sing when he came down by surprise and its called "blue skies." i gave her that surprise and she
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did a custom spoof version of the economist where all of my friends wrote articles -- that was her equivalent gift to me. charlie: you also talk about richard feynman as being the teacher you most might have loved to have had. we all know him from the spaceship disaster and he figured it out. what was so great about him? bill: he was so tough on himself in terms of whether he understood things. he understood physics in a deep way, so his lectures explaining physics that he gave in the 1960's i still consider the best way for somebody to learn why physics is interesting and why it was confusing and how they straighten themselves out, and what it means to run experiments. this lecture series was at columbia and then he goes to
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caltech and does the most grueling freshman physics course ever done. even he thinks man, i made it too hard. that leads to the feynman lectures on physics, which, it is a high bar to read those. they are extremely well written. if you want to test your physics knowledge or refresh it, there is nothing better. charlie: did you read them? bill: yes, but slowly. it's the slowest thing i have ever read. charlie: do you deeply regret not learning a foreign language? bill: yes, i feel like some isolationist, lazy person. charlie: why didn't you? lazy you are not. bill: i got fanatic about software and kept putting it off and still to this day i'm hoping to get around to it. french is easy enough that i should do that.
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mark zuckerberg learned chinese and give a lecture. my chinese speaking friends say it was impressive. so, hey. charlie: there is still time. you are 50 something and he is thirtysomething. bill: i should do it. not chinese, i am too much of a wimp. charlie: i saw something about how you acknowledged that you had hacked into computers. bill: yes, that was between ages 14 to 16, we had limited access to computer time. there were timesharing systems -- computers were expensive so people used phone lines to dial into a big expensive computer and you would have 50 people all dialed in the same time. computer time was rare and scarce. i knew where on the universities there were a few computers and i would get up at 5:00 in the
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morning and if there were -- if there was half an hour free, i would use it. and in a few cases, we figured out how to get on computers we would not have been given access to. charlie: software is the second love of your life? bill: i was obsessed with software from a young age. my 10,000 hours was devoted to learning how to write software. charlie: is that your core competence? bill: math got me involved in software and i got so deep that it later helped me with math but the thing that you do obsessively between 13 and 18 is thing you have the most chance of being world-class at and i only have one thing that i -- one thing obsessively from 13 to 18 which is try to write good software. charlie: did you? bill: i thought i was really good and then when i was 15 i got to work on this project and
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i realized this guy is better than me and he critiqued me and then a year and a half later i got critiqued again and i said, this is better. so that was super helpful to have my comeuppance about how did my code compare to other people's code and eventually i was a bit on my own, but yeah, i had to be pretty tough about how good you can get. charlie: my impression of you is that you did what you wanted to as a teenager? bill: after age 13 my parents were reasonable and fairly busy and i had a very good deal as a teenager. they sent me to a private school.
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there were lots of smart kids there. charlie: they sent you to a therapist as well? bill: that was my real transition where i was thinking that fighting with them was something i could really prove something and they were smart enough to send me to somebody who said that was kind of a war that i had every advantage in. so it was a waste of my energy and i was not going to prove anything because it was almost unfair. he got me to set my sights on -- ok, what am i going to do after high school? my parents were really more allies than barriers in terms of thinking of that framework. so he encouraged reading in areas i had not done. freud and psychology. charlie: so what are you reading now? you write these book reports. it is said that you read two to three books per week? bill: i try. i try. i end up on average reading one per week.
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i just finished "sapians," which is quite good. i read this one only for old men called "younger next year." it beats you up about, don't kid yourself, if you do not exercise like mad and eat well, you are in decay. but on the other side, it says until your 80's, if you exercise six days per week and eat reasonably, then your decline from age 60 to 85 with any luck will be very mild because you are telling your body to maintain bone strength and muscle strength, so i found it helpful. charlie: you are listening to that? bill: i have never done strength training and it says you need do that twice a week so i've taken a vow to do it. but ask the next time i'm here whether that will take. i have done zero days of strength training as of today so
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you can see the result. if i come in looking buff you will know that this book had a profound impact on my behavior. ♪
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emily: i'm emily chang and this is "best of bloomberg technology," where we bring you all our top interviews from the week in tech. the controversy surrounding facebook and twitter rages on in the aftermath of donald trump's election. how the companies are changing their tune. trump doubles down on his promise to scrap a major trade deal. what that means for tech companies in china. the silver industry scrambles to figure out what the new administration means for renewables. the debate rages on, did fake


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