Human Oversight Crucial to Prevent AI Weaponization: Microsoft President

JJohn August 29, 2023 5:42 AM

According to Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and vice-chairman, artificial intelligence (AI) can potentially be weaponized and necessitates human control. Reiterating the need for regulatory measures, he addressed the importance of human oversight in using AI, especially in automating critical infrastructure.

Artificial intelligence's potential for weaponization

Brad Smith, president and vice-chairman of Microsoft, emphasized in an interview with CNBC that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to be used as a weapon and thus requires human control. He argued that every technology ever invented has the capability of becoming both a tool and a weapon, and AI is no exception. Whether it is a government, military or any organization considering the use of AI for automating critical infrastructure, human oversight is essential to ensure safety and control.

Risks and concerns with generative AI

The rise in popularity of ChatGPT, a chatbot powered by generative AI, has stirred up concerns among tech leaders around the world about the risks associated with AI. Generative AI is a type of technology that is capable of creating content ranging from text to images, and even code. Its ability to produce human-like responses has garnered attention, however, the potential misuse of this technology has led to calls for safety measures and regulations.

The rapid proliferation of AI has sparked fear among workers that their jobs might be replaced by this emerging technology. A report by Goldman Sachs in March suggested that generative AI could potentially disrupt as many as 300 million jobs globally. This has led to concerns about the long-term impact of AI on employment and the economy. However, it is also important to note that jobs requiring physical labor are less likely to be significantly affected.

AI as a supplement to human work

Brad Smith underlined that AI should be seen as a tool that supplements human work rather than replacing it. He argued against the notion that AI will render human thinking obsolete, highlighting instead that it helps people to think smarter and faster. Drawing from Microsoft's practice, he explained the concept of AI as co-pilots to illustrate how it can aid and augment human work rather than eliminate it.

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