Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he saw the “existential risks” of artificial intelligence as the technology matured.
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Artificial intelligence can pose “existential risks” and governments need to figure out how to make sure the technology isn’t “used by bad people,” former Google CEO Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday.
The future of AI has been put at the center of conversations among technologists and policymakers grappling with what the technology will look like going forward and how to regulate it.
ChatGPT, the chatbot that went viral last year, has probably sparked more awareness of artificial intelligence as large companies around the world look at the launch of rival products and talk about their AI capabilities.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London, Schmidt said his concern is that AI is an “existential risk.”
“And existential risk is defined as many, many, many, many people being harmed or killed,” Schmidt said.
“There are scenarios not now, but soon, where these systems will find zero-day cyber exploits. issues, or discover new types of biology. Now, this is fiction now, but its reasoning is probably true. And when that happens, we want to be ready to figure out how to make sure these things don’t get used by bad guys.”
Zero-day exploits are security vulnerabilities that hackers find in software and systems.
Schmidt, who was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, did not have a clear view on how to regulate AI but said it was a “broader question for society.” However, he said it is unlikely that a new regulatory agency will be established in the US dedicated to regulating AI.
Schmidt is not the first major tech figure to warn about the dangers of AI.
Sam Altman, the CEO of Open AI that developed ChatGPT, admitted in March that he was “a little scared” in artificial intelligence. He says he worries about authoritarian governments developing technology,
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that he thinks AI represents one of the “greatest dangers” to civilization.
Even the current Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who recently oversaw the company’s launch of its own chatbot called Bard AI, SAYS technology “affects every product of every company,” adding that society must prepare for changes.
Schmidt is part of the National Security Commission on AI in the US which in 2019 began a review of the technology, including a potential regulatory framework. The commission published its review in 2021warns that the US is underprepared for the age of AI.