Published in AI

Google worried that AI might be evil

by on18 April 2023

Ironic, don't cha think?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been telling the world+dog  that Google is not releasing its advanced models of its AI chatbot because they might end up being evil.

The phrase has not been heard for a while. When Google filed for its initial public offering in 2004, its founders wrote that the company's guiding principle, "Don't be evil" was meant to help ensure it did good things for the world, even if it had to forgo some short term gains. While the phrase remains in Google's code of conduct, it turns out that Google seemed capable of doing evil just as well as the next supervillian Big Tech outfit and the phrase does not get mentioned so much any more.

Google released its AI called Bard, to counter Microsoft's Bing, which is so far proving to be much better. But Pichai told 60 Minutes he is being responsible by not releasing advanced models of Bard, in part, so society can get acclimated to the technology, and the company can develop further safety layers.

One of the things Pichai told 60 Minutes that keeps him up at night is Google's AI technology being deployed in harmful ways. Google's chatbot, Bard, has built in safety filters to help combat the threat of malevolent users. Pichai said the company will need to constantly update the system's algorithms to combat disinformation campaigns and detect deepfakes, computer generated images that appear to be real. As Pichai noted in his 60 Minutes interview, consumer AI technology is in its infancy. He believes now is the right time for governments to get involved.

"There has to be regulation. You're going to need laws ... there have to be consequences for creating deep fake videos which cause harm to society," Pichai said. "Anybody who has worked with AI for a while ... realize[s] this is something so different and so deep that, we would need societal regulations to think about how to adapt." Adaptation that is already happening around us with technology that Pichai believes, "will be more capable "anything we've ever seen before." Soon it will be up to society to decide how it's used and whether to abide by Alphabet's code of conduct and, "Do the right thing."


Last modified on 18 April 2023
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