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According to Microsoft Chief Economist Michael Schwarz, people should be more concerned about “AI being used by bad actors” than they should be about AI productivity surpassing human productivity. Schwarz made this statement during a World Economic Forum session on Wednesday.
“Before AI could take all your jobs, it could certainly do a lot of damage in the hands of spammers, people who want to manipulate elections,” Schwarz added while speaking on a panel on harnessing generative AI.
Years before the two businesses integrated OpenAI’s GPT big language model into Microsoft’s Bing search service, Microsoft made its initial $1 billion investment in OpenAI in 2019. Microsoft revealed a new multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in the business in January. In order to power its products, OpenAI depends on Microsoft, a partnership that Wells Fargo recently estimated could bring Microsoft up to $30 billion in additional annual income.
Schwarz moderated his apprehension about AI by pointing out that all new technologies, including autos, came with some danger when they were first introduced to the market. “When AI makes us more productive, we as mankind ought to be better off,” he noted, “because we are able to produce more stuff.”
An explosion of investment in the AI industry was prompted by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. When Google decided to introduce the competing Bard chatbot, it caused a surge of internal worry over a disastrous rollout. Concern over the possible impact of AI technology has grown among politicians and regulators as well.
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The White House informed CNBC on Tuesday that Vice President Kamala Harris will meet on Thursday with senior officials from Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, Anthropic, and other AI companies to discuss ethical AI development. Additionally, on Wednesday, FTC Chair Lina Khan published an opinion piece in The New York Times cautioning “enforcers and regulators must be vigilant.”
“Please remember, breaking is much easier than building,” Schwarz said.