The CEO of Google has recently made a statement regarding the regulation of Artificial
Intelligence. Sundar Pichai has expressed concerns about the negative consequences of AI
(artificial intelligence) alongside the numerous benefits that this technology brings.
Furthermore, he asks for international cooperation to ensure it is harnessed for good.
AI is also known as machine intelligence. It is used to describe machines that mimic the
human mind, such as learning, problem-solving, speech recognition and even language
Sundar Pichai said the correct use of
had the potential to save lives, but issues such as
deep fakes and the “nefarious uses of facial recognition” showed it could also be a danger
to public safety. Whilst facial recognition can be used in the search for missing people,
these ‘nefarious uses’ can cause misery for people that may have had their faces
superimposed on another’s body, for example, in rather explicit practices.
Regulations by individual governments, such as GDPR, can help provide the foundation for the
regulation of AI rather than having to start from scratch. Mr Pichai also stresses that a
‘more coordinated international effort is critical to making global standards work’.
Governments have a very important role to play and, as approaches to regulations are being
drawn up, there must be an ‘international alignment’ of the eventual rules but Mr Pichai
didn’t provide specific recommendations.
The CEO continued to describe how history is full of examples of how ‘technology’s virtues
aren’t guaranteed’ and that ‘with technological innovations come side effects’.
Examples range from internal combustion engines, which allowed people to travel beyond their
own areas but also caused more accidents, to the internet, which helped people connect but
also made it easier for misinformation to spread. He noted that we need to be clear-eyed
about what could go wrong in the development of AL technology.
This statement was released on the same day that Mr Pichai was due to meet Margrethe
Vestager, the E.U.’s powerful competition regulator. Vestager has her sights set on
Artificial Intelligence and is preparing for regulations on its ethical use.