AI Could 'Cause Real Damage', says Microsoft's Chief Economist

Schwarz follows Google's former 'Godfather of AI', Geoffrey Hinton, who recently warned of the misuse of artificial intelligence

Dow Jones 3 May, 2023 | 12:22PM
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Microsoft's chief economist Michael Schwarz has today issued a warning on the the opportunities and drawbacks of artificial intelligence. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday in a panel session, Schwarz said that while Microsoft (MSFT) was committed to making the use of AI safe as part of its partnership with OpenAI, he was confident that the technology can be used by bad actors to "cause real damage".

He used the example of the invention of cars, which he said was a "wonderful invention" but that internal combustion engines still causes thousands of deaths.

"I hope AI will never ever become as deadly as internal combustion engines, but I'm quite confident that AI will be used by bad actors and yes it will cause real damage," he told delegates at the conference.

Google's former "Godfather of AI" Geoffrey Hinton recently warned of the misuse of AI, in an interview with the New York Times on Monday.

"It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things," Hinton said, explaining the reasons behind his resignation from the tech giant.

Meanwhile, Schwarz called claims that AI could take away jobs "paranoid" and that AI can make people more productive.

Schwarz welcomed regulation of AI but said that lawmakers should tread carefully.

"Once we see real harm, we have to ask ourselves the simple question: 'Can we regulate that in a way where the good things that will be prevented by this regulation are less important?'" Schwarz said.

Microsoft recently extended its partnership with OpenAI, pouring billions into ChatGPT creator. It implemented ChatGPT into its Bing search product.

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