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Google boss warns AI’s threat to humanity ‘keeps me up at night’ as tech could ’cause a lot of harm’ to society

GOOGLE boss Sundar Pichai has warned that the threat artificial intelligence (AI) has on humanity “keeps me up at night”.

He’s not alone. The sudden acceleration of AI technology has nearly all of society’s stakeholders worried.


In 2020, Pichai likened the impacts of AI on humans of the 21st century to the invention of fire for our predecessors 420million years agoCredit: Getty

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes programme yesterday, Pichai explains that AI technology could “cause a lot of harm” on a “societal level”.

“It can be very harmful if deployed wrongly and we don’t have all the answers there yet – and the technology is moving fast…. So does that keep me up at night? Absolutely,” he says.

In 2020, Pichai likened the impacts of AI on humans of the 21st century to the invention of fire for our predecessors 420million years ago.

AI is set to “impact every product across every company” worldwide, according to Pichai – an near universal opinion among tech executives and public leaders.

Writers, accountants, and software engineers are likely to be the most affected, he says.

But it is expected to completely overhaul healthcare, too.

“For example, you could be a radiologist, if you think about five to 10 years from now, you’re going to have an AI collaborator with you,” he tells CBS.

“You come in the morning, let’s say you have a hundred things to go through, it may say, ‘these are the most serious cases you need to look at first’.”

The India-born tech executive has steered Google from the helm since 2015, having first joined the company more than a decade prior.

Since then, the capabilities of AI has grown exponentially.

Google even has its own AI product now, known as Bard.

The Silicon Valley giant unveiled its own AI bot known as Bard in January, after OpenAI’s ChatGPT unintentionally set off the gun for a global ‘AI arms race’ when it launched in November.

When asked whether Bard is safe for society, Pichai replied saying: “The way we have launched it today, as an experiment in a limited way, I think [it is]. But we all have to be responsible in each step along the way.”

Pichai has insisted that AI shouldn’t be abandoned, but instead regulated with laws that “align with human values including morality”.

“This is why I think the development of this needs to include not just engineers but social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, and so on,” he says.

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