If Bill GatesWilliam Henry Gates III (in English: William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates) meets a time traveler from the year 2100, his first question will not be about his family or the price of Microsoft shares.

Instead, he would ask: Do people thrive? "At the end of the day, everything is measured by human well-being," Gates said on the latest episode of his "Unconfuse Me" podcast.

In the episode, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft interviews Oxford University scientist Hannah Ritchie, whose book "It's not the end of the world" offers an optimistic view of how the world can win its battle against climate change, writes bTV. 

Gates asked Richie her "top questions" to ask a time traveler from the future. Her answer: What percentage of the world's population could live on up to $20 a day in the year 2100? The answer will reveal a lot about poverty levels in the future and whether "we've made progress on health care, agriculture, poverty," Ritchie said.

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Currently, more than 9% of the world - more than 700 million people - have to live on less than $2.15 a day, a level that indicates extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. If a significant proportion of people live on close to $20 a day by 2100, especially in lower-income countries, that "would be an incredible achievement," Ritchie said — and a sign that humanity may have made progress in mitigating the change of the climate.

"My guess is that climate change hasn't had extremely devastating impacts where agriculture is destroyed and health outcomes are really bad and people are plunged into poverty," Ritchie said.

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Initially, Gates said he would prefer to ask about energy production and artificial intelligence. “How do you generate energy? Is it fusion or fission or something unexpected?” he asked. "And then how the artificial intelligence either helps them come together ... or how they deal with that challenge."

Nuclear fusion and fission are types of nuclear energy. Gates touted both as promising sources of clean energy -- co-founding the nuclear power startup TerraPower in 2006 -- that could help fight climate change.

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Gates also dismissed various doomsday scenarios surrounding AI advances, saying the technology could eventually help the world solve global challenges in areas such as health and education. He still serves as an adviser to Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in artificial intelligence research startup OpenAI, after stepping down from its board of directors in 2020.

But on reflection, despite his personal interests in energy and artificial intelligence, Gates changed his mind and tailored his answer more closely to Ritchie's question. The best survey would be one that reveals the general well-being of people around the world, he said.

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