philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Microsoft president warns AI could be ‘formidable weapon’

9ed8afc0-0086-11ea-8ed7-f17bc9f6eda7The president of Microsoft (MSFT) has warned artificial intelligence (AI) could become a “formidable weapon” unless tech companies build in limits to prevent its “abuse”.

“Any tool can also become a weapon,” Brad Smith said on Wednesday. “The more powerful the tool, the more formidable the weapon.

“When we look to the decade ahead, in many respects AI will be a tool of the sort the world has seldom seen before. And hence it can become a weapon as well.”

Smith made the comments during a speech at the Web Summit, one of the world’s biggest technology conferences. He called on the audience of tech professionals in Lisbon to “think hard” about the potential problems that could be caused by AI.

“We shouldn’t just ask what computers can do, we need to ask what they should do,” Smith said. “We are the first generation in the history of humanity … who will empower machines to make decisions that previously were made only by people.

“If we get it wrong, every generation that comes after us will pay a price.”

He called for “guard rails on the technology we are creating to protect against their abuse or their misuse or their unintended consequences.”

He also called for greater engagement with governments around the world and called on lawmakers to “move faster” to keep up with the pace of change.

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