May 21, 2024

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai warns society to prepare for the impact of accelerating artificial intelligence

Google CEO Sundar Pichai warns society to prepare for the impact of accelerating artificial intelligence
  • In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted that society is not ready for the rapid advances in artificial intelligence.
  • Pichai said laws that impede AI developments “should not be decided by the company” alone.
  • Wary of consequences, he said that AI will affect “every product of every company”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce on June 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Anna Money Maker | Getty Images

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said that “every product of every company” will be affected by the rapid development of artificial intelligence, warning that society needs to prepare for technologies like those that have already been launched.

in Interview with “60 Minutes” on CBS. It aired in unsettling style on Sunday, as interviewer Scott Bailey tried out several Google AI projects and said he was “speechless” and felt “unsettling,” referring to the human-like capabilities of products like Google Bard’s chatbot.

“We need to adapt as a society for that,” Pichai told Bailey, adding that jobs that might be disrupted by AI would include “knowledge workers,” ironically including writers, accountants, architects, and even software engineers.

“This will affect every product in every company,” Pichai said. “For example, you could be a radiologist, if you think about five to 10 years from now, you would have an AI collaborator. You come in the morning, say you have a hundred things to do, he might say, ‘These are the most dangerous Cases you need to consider first.”

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Bailey saw other areas with advanced AI products within Google, including DeepMind, where bots were playing soccer, which they learned themselves, unlike humans. Another unit showed robots that recognized items on a countertop and brought Billy the apple he requested.

And when Pichai warned of the consequences of artificial intelligence, he said the scale of the problem of misinformation, fake news and images would be “much greater,” adding that they “could cause harm.”

Last month, CNBC reported that Pichai told staff internally that the success of the newly launched Bard now hinged on public testing, adding that “things are going to get worse.”

Google released its AI-powered chatbot Bard as a beta product to the public last month. This followed Microsoft’s announcement in January that its Bing search engine would include OpenAI’s GPT technology, which gained international attention following the launch of ChatGPT in 2022.

However, fears of the consequences of rapid progress have also reached audiences and critics in recent weeks. In March, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and dozens of academics called for an immediate halt in training “experiments” related to large language models that were “more powerful than GPT-4,” OpenAI’s flagship MBA program. Since then more than 25,000 people have signed the letter.

“The competitive pressure between giants like Google and startups you’ve never heard of is propelling humanity into the future, whether it’s ready or not,” Bailey commented in the clip.

Google launched the document He outlined “recommendations for regulating AI,” but Pichai said society should quickly adapt regulations and laws to punish violations, treaties between countries to make AI safe for the world as well as rules that are “aligned with human values ​​including ethics.”

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“It’s not for the company to decide,” Pichai said. “That’s why I think the development of this should involve not just engineers but sociologists, ethicists, philosophers, and so on.”

When asked if society is ready for AI technology like Bard, Pichai replied, “On the one hand, I don’t feel, because the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions, compared to the pace at which technology is developing, there seems to be a mismatch.”

However, he added that he’s optimistic because compared to other technologies in the past, “more people have started to worry about the ramifications” than they did earlier.

From a six-word prompt by Bailey, Bard created a story with characters and a plot she invented, including a man whose wife could not conceive and a stranger grieving after a miscarriage and longing for closure. “I am seldom speechless,” said Bailey. “Humanity was at breakneck speed a human shock.”

Bailey said he asked Bard why he helps people and he replied “because it makes me happy”, which Bailey said shocked him. “Bard seems to be thinking,” he told James Manica, a senior vice president at Google who was hired last year as head of “Technology and Society.” Manica replied that Bard is not conscious and is not aware of himself but can “act like him”.

Pichai also said that Bard has a lot of hallucinations after Bailey explains that he asked Bard about inflation and he received an immediate response with suggestions for five books that, when he checked them later, weren’t really there.

Bailey also seemed concerned when Pichai said there is a “black box” with chatbots, where they “don’t quite understand” why or how they come up with certain responses.

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“You don’t quite understand how it works, yet you have forbidden it to society?” asked Bailey.

Pichai replied, “Let me put it this way, I don’t think we fully understand how the human mind works either.”