While artificial intelligence has the potential to improve billions of lives, the world needs new regulations to ensure that it is developed responsibly in a way that benefits everyone, chief executive of Alphabet and Google Sundar Pichai says.
While artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve billions of lives, the world needs new regulations to ensure that it is developed responsibly in a way that benefits everyone, chief executive of Alphabet and Google Sundar Pichai says.
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“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong. There are real concerns about the potential negative consequences of AI, from deepfakes to repressive uses of facial recognition,” writes Pichai in an article on The Financial Times.
In the article, Pichai recalls his growing-up years in India. “I was fascinated by technology. Each new invention changed my family’s life in meaningful ways. The telephone saved us long trips to the hospital for test results. The refrigerator meant we could spend less time preparing meals, and television allowed us to see the world news and cricket matches we had only imagined while listening to the short-wave radio,” he writes.
Pichai cited three concrete examples of how Alphabet and Google are tapping AI’s potential. “Nature published our research showing that an AI model can help doctors spot breast cancer in mammograms with greater accuracy; we are using AI to make immediate, hyperlocal forecasts of rainfall more quickly and accurately than existing models as part of a larger set of tools to fight climate change; and Lufthansa Group is working with our cloud division to test the use of AI to help reduce flight delays,” he noted.
While it promises big benefits, he raised concerns about the potential downsides of AI. While there is already some work being done to address these concerns, there will inevitably be more challenges ahead that no one company or industry can solve alone. The EU and the US are already starting to develop regulatory proposals. International alignment will be critical to making global standards work. To get there, we need agreement on core values, he observed.
“Now there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it. That’s why in 2018, Google published our own AI principles to help guide ethical development and use of the technology. Government regulation will also play an important role. We don’t have to start from scratch. Existing rules such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation can serve as a strong foundation. Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms, especially in high-risk areas, with social opportunities,” he wrote.
First Published: Jan 20, 2020 9:16 PM IST