Microsoft President Brad Smith has warned that the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) risks repeating the mistakes made by the tech industry during the early stages of social media. Speaking at a business forum, Smith expressed concern that developers of AI are too optimistic about its potential benefits and not considering the potential risks. He urged developers to approach AI with a clear-eyed view and construct safeguards from the outset. While advancements in AI have sparked global alarm, Smith believes that the public wants assurance that the technology will remain under human control.
The rise of AI has generated both excitement and concerns about its impact on the labor market and potential for disinformation. AI has demonstrated its ability to generate essays, create realistic images, mimic voices, and even pass medical exams. However, there are worries that chatbots could spread disinformation, biased algorithms may produce racist content, and AI-powered automation could lead to job losses in certain industries. A recent United Nations report stated that AI is more likely to augment jobs rather than eliminate them, but it will alter the intensity of work and workers’ autonomy. The report also highlighted that effects will vary depending on professions and regions, with clerical workers and women being more vulnerable to changes.
At the same business forum in New Delhi, Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach emphasized the importance of building trust in the use of AI and addressing issues such as AI bias. While he acknowledged the risks associated with AI, he believes that they are not new and should not hinder further development. Miebach believes that regulation will inevitably lag behind technological advancements and called for continued progress in AI.
Both Smith and Miebach were speaking alongside other industry leaders in preparation for the G20 summit in New Delhi next month.