Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai recently said that artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be regulated. He said that AI has the potential to improve billions of lives, and the biggest risk may be failing to do so.
Pichai wrote in an op-ed for the Financial Times that he has no question in his mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated and said that it is too important not to. “The only question is how to approach it,” he wrote.
He also added that companies shouldn’t be able to just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. “It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” he said.
The CEO also said that while AI has enormous potential there are also considerable dangers, such as the misuse of deepfakes, the computer-generated clips that are designed to look real.
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While recently European Commission said that it is considering a five-year ban on facial recognition, the US seems to be taking a softer approach towards regulation. Talking about how important it is for everyone to be aligned, he said, “International alignment will be critical to making global standards work. To get there, we need agreement on core values.”
Pichai quoted the example of how internal combustion engines allowed people to travel beyond their own areas but also caused more accidents and while the internet made it possible to connect with anyone and get information from anywhere, it also made it easier for misinformation to spread. “These lessons teach us that we need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.
In December 2019, cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped aside from day-to-day operations of the company and Pichai, who is also a board member, was asked to lead Alphabet alongside his role as CEO of Google and managing Alphabet’s portfolio which includes Chronicle, GV, CapitalG, Verily, Loon, X, Waymo and Google Fiber. “Sundar brings humility and a deep passion for technology to our users, partners and our employees every day,” the cofounders had said.
The Indian government has also been betting high on technology to push economic growth. Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal recently said that the use of AI in different forms can help achieve the target of making India a $5 Tn economy in the coming years.
In 2017, an AI task force was created to drive India’s economic transformation. The task force has recommended an Inter-Ministerial National Artificial Intelligence Mission to act as a nodal agency for coordinating AI activities in India.
In July 2015, the government announced the launch of a centre of excellence for IoT as part of the Digital India Initiative. The main objective of the center is to create innovative applications and domain capability by harnessing the innovative nature of the startup community and leveraging the experience of corporate players.