Former CEO of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG, NASDAQ: GOOGL), Eric Schmidt, has expressed his growing concerns regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as an “existential risk.” Schmidt has encouraged governments to be proactive in regulating the use of AI technology to ensure its responsible use and regulation.
What Happened: At The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London, Schmidt warned of the potential risks posed by unregulated AI development and the need for governments to prevent its misuse. He highlighted that AI could lead to an “existential risk,” resulting in harm or death to many people if not regulated properly. Schmidt emphasized the importance of addressing the potential for malevolent individuals to abuse AI technology and ensure their prevention.
Schmidt also acknowledged that broader society needed to consider regulating AI as a paramount matter. In particular, he pointed out that malevolent individuals could use AI technology to discover new biological forms or find zero-day exploits in cyber issues, making it essential for governments to understand its potential misuse and be ready to prevent it.
Why It’s Important: Schmidt’s concerns regarding the misuse of AI technology are similar to those expressed by other influential tech industry leaders, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Geoffrey Hinton, and Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai. These industry leaders all believe that AI development needs to be appropriately regulated to reduce potential risks posed by its misuse. Renowned business magnate and investor Warren Buffett also expressed doubt about OpenAI’s chatGPT and compared it to the invention of the atom bomb, calling for precautionary measures to prevent the technology’s misuses.
Schmidt has been actively involved in assessing AI technology’s potential since 2019, contributing to a comprehensive evaluation of AI technology as part of the National Security Commission on AI in the US. The commission subsequently released its findings in 2021, raising concerns about the country’s lack of readiness regarding AI technology. According to CNBC, the report pointed out that AI poses an “existential risk.”
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