Microsoft chief says AI is ‘not an existential risk’ to mankind, but needs human oversight

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solo10 July 2023Last Update : 3 months ago
Microsoft chief says AI is ‘not an existential risk’ to mankind, but needs human oversight

Brad Smith also told Euronews that international coordination is needed when it comes to the regulation of emerging technology.

According to Microsoft’s president, artificial intelligence is not a threat to humanity, even though he says that the necessary safeguards must be controlled by people.

“We need safety brakes that will ensure that AI remains under human control,” Brad Smith said in an interview in Brussels on Thursday.

“We can do this, and this is the right time to come together and figure out how to do it. We must layer it so that we always have this technique under control. I think if we do this well, we will recognize that this is not an existential risk.

A Microsoft executive speaking to Euronews during a trip to Europe after talks between EU institutions began on how the bloc’s landmark AI act – the first of its kind in the world – passed a key hurdle in the European Parliament. Was doing. earlier this month.

Smith said his company has so far been “encouraged” by EU legislation governing the emerging technology, but would like to ensure more cooperation is in place when it comes to global governance on the issue. This would require that the AI ​​not get out of control.

“It is realistic and, in fact, necessary to pursue a much broader level of international coordination on the regulation of AI,” the Microsoft president told Euronews.

“We need governments to come together and I think the key is to start with focus. Don’t try to do 100 things at once. Do the eight or ten things that matter most. Prioritize. If Create a template if you like, and then start expanding.

“And governments are focused on that and it’s not something we normally see. So I think this could be different and there is cause for optimism.”

In May, the EU and the US announced plans for a joint voluntary code of conduct on AI, a prime example of some of the international cooperation already taking place.

Smith wants more countries to join and suggested that any such code of conduct would become mandatory in the future, however, stressed that before that happens it will be important to make sure it works for everyone. .

The Microsoft executive said, “I sincerely hope that a voluntary code becomes a mandatory code, and that would be a good thing, but it’s a good thing to get it fixed before making it mandatory.”

Microsoft ‘deferring’ national leaders on Taiwan

AI has gained prominence this year, largely due to widespread coverage related to the rapid pace of its development, including software such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT – which Microsoft uses in its Bing search engine.

Geopolitical tensions also come into focus when it comes to technology, as the US and to a lesser extent the EU seek to curb China’s ambitions in the region.

Washington last year imposed export controls on US-based companies making chips for AI and is already applying more pressure. Add to that concerns over Beijing’s intentions for Taiwan, the world’s biggest semiconductor producer, and things don’t look easy for Microsoft in the region.

The company has extensive business dealings in both the countries.

He told Euronews, “For a company like Microsoft, 95% of our business around the world is actually in the world’s democracies. It’s serving and supporting and even protecting the world’s democracies.”

“But we also have a presence in the rest of the world. It’s not as extensive. We’re obviously not going to get into defense or the military, but there are certain areas where I think the world would be best served if When we people are learning from each other, they are connected to each other.

The US has threatened Beijing with sanctions if it invades Taiwan. Microsoft’s chairman said that if that happens, his company will leave it to world leaders to guide any next steps.

“This is where I really leave it to the government leaders to speak up, and I think [we] You know, will they defer to their leadership whenever we have to face other issues,” Smith told Euronews.

“Today we are serving Taiwan. We are serving China – not in exactly equivalent ways. I’ll just leave it at that.”

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