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Technology Google CEO Thinks AI Will Be More a Profound Change Than Fire

13:35  22 january  2020
13:35  22 january  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Google ’s chief executive officer has left no doubt in how important he thinks artificial intelligence will be to humanity. “ AI is one of the most profound things we ’ re working on as humanity. It’s more profound than fire or electricity,” Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the World

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says artificial intelligence is going to have a bigger impact on the world than some of the most ubiquitous innovations in " AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than , I dunno, electricity or fire ," says Pichai, speaking at a town hall

(Bloomberg) --

Google’s chief executive officer has left no doubt in how important he thinks artificial intelligence will be to humanity.

“AI is one of the most profound things we’re working on as humanity. It’s more profound than fire or electricity,” Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Alphabet, which owns Google, has had to grapple with its role in the development of AI, including managing employee revolts against its work on the technology for the U.S. government. In 2018, a group of influential software engineers successfully delayed the development of a security feature that would’ve helped the company win military contracts.

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“ AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than , I dunno, electricity or fire .” Those words were not uttered from the Pichai was trying to explain how profound an effect—both positive and negative— AI could have on humanity. And if you’ve cracked open a sci-fi

It’s more profound than , I don’t know, electricity or fire ,” adding that people learned to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but also needed to The remarks from the chief executive of Google , which is largely perceived as one of the world leaders in the development of artificial intelligence, came after

Google has issued a set of AI principles that prohibit weapons work, but doesn’t rule out selling to the military. It has also pledged not to renew its Project Maven contract, which involves using artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage.

Pichai, who’s led Google since 2015, took control of Alphabet after founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from day-to-day involvement last month.

“AI is no different from the climate,” Pichai said. “You can’t get safety by having one country or a set of countries working on it. You need a global framework.”

Current frameworks to regulate the technology in the U.S. and Europe are a “great start,” and countries will have to work together on international agreements, similar to the Paris climate accord, to ensure it’s developed responsibly, Pichai said.

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I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire ." That's a bold claim for anyone to make, but even more significant given the speaker: Google boss Pichai thinks AI has the same potential for people today, with multiple positive applications such as education and renewable energy.

" AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire . **This image is for use with this specific article only** Pichai, Google CEO since 2015, has pushed his firm deeper into developing artificial intelligence under

Pichai had stopped by Brussels on his way to Davos, giving a rare public speech, where he called on regulators to coordinate their approaches to artificial intelligence. The European Union is set to unveil new rules AI developers in “high risk sectors,” such as health care and transportation, according to an early draft obtained by Bloomberg.

Technology such as facial recognition can be used for good, such as finding missing people, or have “negative consequences,” such as mass surveillance, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate Lanxon

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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