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Google CEO compares AI to electricity and fire

AI research and development requires a “balanced” approach

Technology giant Google, a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet, is engaged in a wide range of research into applications for artificial intelligence (AI) that include machine translation to remove language barriers, improving healthcare by empowering doctors to make data-based decisions and bringing machine learning techniques to data centers and mobile devices.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in a recent interview aired on MSNBC, said artificial intelligence (AI)  “is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.”

He acknowledged that there are concerns associated with advancements in AI. Tech leaders like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, for instance, have raised alarms related to the potential for intelligent machines to break with their human inventors and begin pursuing their own interests.

“AI is really important,” Pichai said, “but we have to be concerned about it. I think it’s good. That’s how humanity solves things.” He gave the example of climate change. “Over the past many, many years we have gotten increasingly concerned. We all get together, there are things like Paris agreement and we are working towards solving climate change. We haven’t fully figured out the answers, but we are really worried about it. That’s how we make progress. I think it’s fair to be worried bout AI. We want to be thoughtful about it. AI holds the potential for some of the biggest advancements we’re going to see.”

 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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