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will.i.am wants to follow in Bill Gates' footsteps with technology projects

will.i.am is looking to follow in Bill Gates' footsteps with his various technology projects.

The Black Eyed Peas star has switched his focus from music to science and tech-related pursuits in recent years, becoming a director of creative innovation with Intel Corporation in 2011 as well as unveiling his company i.am +, where he has helped develop smart watches and iPhone accessories.

When it comes to his decision to work in the field, Will explained that he is now using music to raise awareness and funds for his other interests, and is certain that technology developers will be the rock stars of the future.

"For all the folks on the fence, that want to do something bigger, there's nothing bigger than (Microsoft co-founder) Bill Gates. There's nothing bigger than (late Apple founder) Steve Jobs, but you to have the opportunity to try to be that big," he told the BBC. "And if you try to be as big as Bill Gates and don't succeed, you will be bigger than Michael Jackson - I guarantee you that. Now that I'm 40, I want to aim to be like the other Mike, (Dell Technologies founder) Michael Dell, I want to be like the other Stevie, not Stevie Wonder - Steve Jobs.

"I want to change Will to Bill, I want to be like Bill Gates."

Will has explored science by sitting in on classes held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has a fascination with artificial intelligence. He also explained that it's not impossible for young people to seek out their dreams, whether it be in music, business or other fields, it's simply about finding the right tutors and mentors.

"If I can do it, coming from the ghetto, you can do it too. You just have to surround yourself with engineers and discipline future thinkers," the 42-year-old added.