Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates, delivered the opening keynote presentation on Tuesday at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2012.
The three day summit focuses on redefining the digital frontier with the attendance of leaders from the media industry from around the world.
In an interview with Al Arabiya, Gates said that the development of technology should be targeted towards the poor, with wealthier citizens, such as those in the Gulf, to embrace such form of philanthropy.
“What we need to do is use this for a broader set of things. For example, education - can we have the best lecturers, the best learning? Can we revolutionize the university and make that more widely available to people? Can we reach out to the poorest - to farmers, to tell them about new techniques? So, it's not just the devices that are getting better but also the goals we have for the services around them. So even though my foundation work is helping the poorest, I still see technology as playing a very central role in that work,” he said.
Gates also added the importance of enhancing people’s lives through technology, by addressing the needs of all socio-economic levels.
“Of course everything will get faster, the storage will get better, the computing will get better, and people will see that through applications - what does it mean to help them with their health? What does it mean to help them in their learning? What does it mean to stay in touch with friends? We have to make sure that this is applicable, not just to the wealthy, but to everyone in the world. It's a very dynamic business, one that will keep surprising people,” he said.
He added his company is working on researching optimum solutions for users of “smart” devices like tablet computers.
“My full time work now is at the Gates Foundation. I'm part time at Microsoft - I think software's got some amazing things can do, they keep investing in the future, leading on new ways of interacting, making software more intelligent. Because of that research function that they're doing globally, they'll be able to stay at the forefront, provide platforms - a device that brings you the best of the PC and the tablet, Windows 8, new ways of productivity with the breakthroughs in Office, so I get to provide some suggestions for that work while, at the same time, my primary focus is helping the world's poorest,” Gates said.
The Abu Dhabi Media Summit features a combination of high-profile public sessions, off-record forums, and private conversations, with previous keynote speakers such as Rupert Murdoch and James Cameron.