During a recent interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes”, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, expressed concern over the quick development of artificial intelligence (AI). Pichai warned that every product of every company will be impacted by AI and that society needs to prepare for technologies like the ones already launched by Google. The interviewer, Scott Pelley, tried several of Google’s AI projects and was “speechless” and felt it was “unsettling,” referring to the human-like capabilities of products like Google’s chatbot, Bard.
Pichai stated that jobs that would be disrupted by AI would include “knowledge workers,” including writers, accountants, architects, and even software engineers. He also warned that the scale of the problem of disinformation and fake news and images will be “much bigger” and could cause harm.
Google launched its AI chatbot, Bard, as an experimental product to the public last month. However, fears of the consequences of the rapid progress of AI have also reached the public and critics in recent weeks. In March, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and dozens of academics called for an immediate pause in training “experiments” connected to large language models that were “more powerful than GPT-4,” OpenAI’s flagship LLM.
Pichai emphasized the need for society to quickly adapt with regulation, laws to punish abuse, treaties among nations to make AI safe for the world, and rules that “align with human values, including morality.” He stated that the development of AI needs to include not just engineers but social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, and so on.
Despite his concerns, Pichai is optimistic because compared with other technologies in the past, “the number of people who have started worrying about the implications” did so early on. Pelley was also amazed by Google’s AI capabilities, particularly Bard, which created a tale with characters and plot that it invented from a six-word prompt by Pelley. Bard appears to be thinking, but Manyika responded that it is not sentient and not aware of itself but can “behave like” it.
Pelley also expressed concern 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. Pichai responded by stating that he doesn’t think humans fully understand how a human mind works either.