Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate and enhance human productivity. However, Microsoft Corp. Chief Economist Michael Schwarz warns that unscrupulous individuals could also exploit AI, causing significant harm. Speaking at a World Economic Forum panel in Geneva, Schwarz expressed confidence that “AI will be used by bad actors” and emphasized the need for regulation while remaining cautious until the technology causes “real harm.”
As AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s rival Bard chatbot gain popularity, policymakers are increasingly pressuring companies to implement safeguards around this emerging technology. Schwarz believes that the benefits of regulation should outweigh the costs to society. He also cautioned against directly regulating AI training sets, stating that it would be “pretty disastrous” if Congress were to make decisions about them.
Despite the potential risks, Schwarz maintains that AI can help make humans more productive, allowing us to “produce more stuff with less work.” He acknowledges that the transformation brought by AI will take time, stating, “AI changes nothing in the short run and it changes everything in the long run.”
US Vice President Kamala Harris is set to meet with the CEOs of Microsoft, Alphabet Inc., and OpenAI Inc. to discuss ways to reduce the risk of harm from AI technologies. Microsoft is already working on establishing guardrails to mitigate the potential dangers of AI tools and has integrated OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search product.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) report published this week highlights that AI will be a key driver of turbulence in global labor markets and play a role in changes for nearly a quarter of global jobs. While AI offers numerous benefits and opportunities for growth, it is crucial for policymakers and industry leaders to address the potential dangers and establish a regulatory framework that strikes a balance between innovation and safety.