Google CEO Sundar Pichai Has Warned Society To Brace For The Impact Of AI

Following the concerns of all leading global companies, CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” also expressed his concerns regarding the rapid development of Artificial intelligence (AI) and its possible impact on our society.

He has already warned that AI will impact almost every sector of every company and asked everyone to be prepared for the upcoming change.

In the interview, Scott Pelley, the interviewer, tried several AI projects being run by Google and found them unsettling referring to their human-like capabilities.

“We need to adapt as a society for it,” Pichai told Pelley, adding that jobs that would be disrupted by AI would include “knowledge workers,” including writers, accountants, architects and, ironically, even software engineers.

“This is going to impact every product across every company,” Pichai said. “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. 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.’”

Only last month, CNBC reported that Pichai told his employees that success of his AI chatbot Bard now hinges on public testing, adding that “things will go wrong.”

Although Google did launch a document outlining the recommendations for regulating AI but Pichai said society must quickly adapt with regulation, laws to punish abuse and treaties among nations to make AI safe for the world as well as rules that “Align with human values including morality.”

“It’s not for a company to decide,” Pichai said. “This is why I think the development of this needs to include not just engineers but social scientists, ethicists, philosophers and so on.”

When asked whether society is prepared for AI technology like Bard, Pichai answered, “On one hand, I feel no, because the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions, compared to the pace at which the technology is evolving, there seems to be a mismatch.” 

Pelley entered a six-word prompt from which Bard created a tale with characters and a plot. “I am rarely speechless,” Pelley said. “The humanity at superhuman speed was a shock.”

Pelley said he asked Bard why it helps people and it replied “because it makes me happy,” which Pelley said shocked him. “Bard appears to be thinking,” he told James Manyika, a senior vice president Google hired last year as head of “technology and society.” Manyika responded that Bard is not sentient and not aware of itself but it can “behave like” it.

Pelley also seemed concerned when Pichai said there is “a black box” with chatbots, where “you don’t fully understand” why or how it comes up with certain responses.

“You don’t fully understand how it works and yet you’ve turned it loose on society?” Pelley asked.

“Let me put it this way, I don’t think we fully understand how a human mind works either,” Pichai responded.

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