Google CEO Frets Over Potential AI Problems

Posted by Richard on June 21, 2023

Is artificial intelligence coming for your job? Could AI soon spy on you and your data all the time? Might small businesses be pushed out of the market? Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently warned that AI does indeed pose threats and could disrupt society at large, according to CNBC. He also argues that it shouldn’t be left to singular companies to decide how AI should be managed.

Between Google’s Bard, ChatGPT, and other emerging tools, you can now use AI to write college-level essays, web content, and more. And now, Pichai warns that AI could prove immensely disruptive in accounting, architecture, and even software engineering. Indeed, Pichai went as far as to say that AI could impact “every product of every company.” Even if this claim proves hyperbolic, the potential for AI to reduce demand for labor has some economists and analysts fretting.

The U.S. and other countries have seen drastic reductions in manufacturing and industrial employment. While outsourcing to other countries accounts for some of those eliminated jobs, a much greater proportion of the loss was due to automation. Yet the robots whirling away in warehouses and factories can’t really think and aren’t especially flexible. They can perform route tasks, but not much more.

AI, on the other hand, is proving more flexible and can even learn new skills, to some extent. As industrial employment has declined, many folks have found careers as knowledge workers — and want to know if their jobs are at risk. And even bigger questions persist, like how society should approach the potential disruption.

Policymakers will have no choice but to wrangle with the specifics in the future, but Pichai argues that a holistic approach that utilizes not just tech experts, but also philosophers, ethicists, social scientists, and others, offers the best way forward.