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Former Google CEO Warns About Impact Of AI On Politics, Calls On Regulators, Tech Industry To Rein It In

  Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that   artificial intelligence   could hurt American politics and needs to be reined in. Appearing on ...

 Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that artificial intelligence could hurt American politics and needs to be reined in.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Schmidt said that while AI has amazing potential to do good for society, it first needs to overcome the present challenges. He warned that authorities need to help regulate the technology now.

“From birth, all of us are taught to believe what we hear and what we see,” Schmidt said. “You can now generate things using computers that sound incredibly authentic … And you can also generate pictures that are as authentic as you could possibly see with your own eyes. … So, we, collectively, in our industry, face a reckoning of, how do we want to make sure this stuff doesn’t harm but just helps?”

“[H]istorically there have been a couple of moments, after the nuclear age, after the recombinant DNA age, the scientists and the political leaders came together with appropriate restrictions,” he continued. “This is the time for the people in my industry, the government, economists, philosophers to understand this.”

“Right now, first, the government’s got to figure out how it wants to talk to us about this,” Schmidt added. “Second, our industry’s got to get an organization or a set of organizations to discuss how to put appropriate guardrails in place to keep these things in alignment. Everyone’s focused on bias, which is certainly a problem and it’s being worked on. But the real problem is that when these systems are used to manipulate people’s day-to-day lives, literally the way they think, what they choose and so forth, it affects how democracies work.”

Earlier this week, leaders in the tech industry, including Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, called for pausing the development of new AI models past the current generation.

An open letter from the Future of Life Institute noted that recent AI developments could significantly impact information channels and employment prospects for many industries, as well as accelerate the timeframe in which AI will be able to outsmart humans. The document called for a six-month moratorium on developing AI solutions stronger than GPT-4, the latest version of ChatGPT released by OpenAI earlier this month, as the world considers possible ramifications of the technology.

“Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders,” the letter said. “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable. This confidence must be well justified and increase with the magnitude of a system’s potential effects.”

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