Google boss: ‘Artificial intelligence needs to be regulated’


The artificial intelligence technology being developed by companies including Google needs to be regulated… thinks the CEO of Google (and now also its parent company Alphabet) Sundar Pichai. He published a guest column for the Financial Times yesterday that’s been widely shared since, outlining his views.

“History is full of examples of how technology’s virtues aren’t guaranteed. Internal combustion engines allowed people to travel beyond their own areas but also caused more accidents. The internet made it possible to connect with anyone and get information from anywhere, but also easier for misinformation to spread,” wrote Pichai. “These lessons teach us that we need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong. There are real concerns about the potential negative consequences of AI, from deepfakes to nefarious uses of facial recognition. While there is already some work being done to address these concerns, there will inevitably be more challenges ahead that no one company or industry can solve alone.”

Whenever a big-tech executive is calling for regulation (see also: Mark Zuckerberg) there are inevitably suspicions that what they mean is regulation favourable to their own company’s plans and approach.

Pichai’s piece will meet the same response, but it’s still worth reading. “Good regulatory frameworks will consider safety, explainability, fairness and accountability to ensure we develop the right tools in the right ways. Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms, especially in high-risk areas, with social opportunities…”


Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

Written by: Stuart Dredge