Google CEO worries AI could be harmful if deployed wrongly

Google CEO Sundar Pichai stressed on safely deploying AI in order to benefit people, and steering away from race-like conditions

Updated - April 17, 2023 05:22 pm IST

Published - April 17, 2023 02:39 pm IST

File photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai

File photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai | Photo Credit: AP

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Sunday that he was worried about the need to deploy AI technology quickly, and also feared it might be used to cause harm.

In the ‘60 minutes’ interview with CBS, Mr. Pichai said what kept him up at night was “the urgency to work and deploy it in a beneficial way. But at the same time, it can be very harmful to deploy wrongly. And we don’t have all the answers there yet and the technology is moving fast.”

He further stressed on avoiding what he called “race conditions”, where people developing AI products across companies tried to compete with each other to launch offerings first.

When asked about ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, Mr. Pichai did not criticise the company directly but said others were worried that releasing such powerful technology would not give society time to adapt.

“I think there are responsible people there trying to figure out how to approach this technology and so on,” he added.

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Mr. Pichai’s comment comes days after the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said that tech innovations such as ChatGPT might have been released years earlier if not for Google monopolising the search market. Google is currently facing two antitrust cases.

Separately, a group of U.S. states and the DoJ have sued Google over its search engine being added as default in web browsers and mobile devices.

For its part, Google has accused Microsoft of carrying out anti-competitive cloud computing practices. OpenAI is backed by Microsoft.

Both Google and Microsoft are working on bringing their chatbots Bard and the AI-powered Bing, respectively, to internet search users.

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