Microsoft President Brad Smith recently called on government officials and lawmakers to better regulate artificial intelligence. This week, the tech mogul traveled to Washington, D.C., where he urged officials to develop policies to regulate app-generating technologies like ChatGPT and provide better risk management.
Smith’s plea to government and business
The Microsoft president is urging governments to step up the pace of regulation while asking companies to step up to speed on the rapid development of artificial intelligence. Speaking before a panel of lawmakers on May 25, Smith highlighted two main things the U.S. should focus on to mitigate the unforeseen risks posed by artificial intelligence.
The first issue, he said, is enabling innovation by putting in place appropriate regulations to reassure the public that there is a strategy to innovate responsibly. In a recent tweet, he said “
Artificial intelligence may be the most important technological advancement of our lifetime. Today, we announced a 5-point blueprint for governing AI. It addresses current and emerging issues, bringing together the public and private sectors, thereby ensuring that tools serve all societies.
Microsoft also called on companies to activate the safety brakes for AI technology and develop a more comprehensive regulatory and legal framework for AI; the tech giant said the new government could implement such policies to address potential risks posed by AI.
As part of the event in Washington, Microsoft submitted a 40-page report outlining the various ways in which AI technology could be regulated, including proposals such as developing mechanisms to stop AI from fooling humans, using existing Laws, promoting transparency in AI development and introducing AI licensing systems.
Smith emphasized that this regulation should not be left to tech companies alone, noting that it should be a shared responsibility in the introductory section of the report: “Governing Artificial Intelligence: A Blueprint for the Future.”
Microsoft recognizes potential risks posed by artificial intelligence, says in report
We need to acknowledge the simple fact that not all actors are well-intentioned or equipped to handle the challenges posed by high-capacity models. Some players may use AI as a weapon rather than a tool, while others underestimate the security challenges ahead.
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are already a threat to privacy and human dignity, convincing deepfake videos have been used to spread misinformation across the internet, and rapid automation has led to massive job losses.
Even as Microsoft works on AI and develops new chips to power ChatGPT and OpenAI’s chatbots, this sentiment will explode. Smith further emphasized that pace matters and that if the United States moves too slowly, it will fall behind.
Concerns about AI regulation
On May 16, the OpenAI CEO also expressed his concerns about artificial intelligence regulation when he testified in Congress, pushing for a regulatory framework to oversee the licensing of AI companies. This claim was echoed by Microsoft’s CEO, who added that AI development should only be done by licensed centers.
Senator Lindsey Graham asked witnesses at a hearing on AI regulation whether there should be an agency to license and oversee AI tools.
All say yes, but IBM Chief Privacy & Trust Officer Christina Montgomery has rules: pic.twitter.com/UD7R8N7s23
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) May 16, 2023
It follows an open letter published in March by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute calling for an end to the development of AI systems other than OpenAI’s GPT-4, saying it could pose profound risks to humanity. The letter was corroborated by more than 1,000 people, including academic and technical experts such as Elon Musk and Sapiens author Noah Harari.He said
Over the past few years, new artificial intelligence tools have emerged that threaten the very existence of human civilization; artificial intelligence has acquired some remarkable abilities to manipulate and generate language. AI has thus cracked the operating system of our civilization.
It might seem unusual for a tech company to seek regulation of its activities; Microsoft has stayed out of it for years by calling for regulation of technological developments such as social media. Despite the clarion call to governments and businesses, implementing such regulations will require a national and international framework to effectively regulate such technologies and mitigate potential risks.
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