Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt likens artificial intelligence to nukes
Just days after questioning the concept of the metaverse, former Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt compared artificial intelligence (AI) to nuclear weapons. Speaking at a conference, Eric Schmidt revealed he was “naive” about the power of information in his early days at Google 20 years ago.
“I like to think of this as sort of where things were 20 years ago in tech, where we were incredibly naive. I was very naive about the impact of what we were doing. I now understand that information is everything: It’s incredibly powerful,” Eric Schmidt said.
Schmidt warned of the harmful effects of artificial intelligence at the Aspen Security Forum.
“In the 50s and 60s, we eventually worked out a world where there was a ‘no surprise’ rule about nuclear tests wherein the world’s powers notify each other if they were conducting a missile test. This eliminated the risk of a misunderstanding triggering World War III, and eventually, they were banned,” Schmidt said.
“It’s an example of a balance of trust or lack of trust; it’s a ‘no surprises’ rule. I’m very concerned that the US views China as corrupt or Communist or whatever, and the Chinese view of America as failing… will allow people to say, ‘Oh my god, they’re up to something,’ and then begin some conundrum. Begin some kind of thing where, because you’re arming or getting ready, you then trigger the other side. We don’t have anyone working on that (how AI is developed or used), and yet AI is that powerful,” the former Google CEO added.
However, Schmidt is not the first to speak about the dangers of AI. Recently, Google sacked its senior software engineer who claimed AI chatbot to be sentient. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk famously said, “AI is far more dangerous than nukes.”
Schmidt was the Google CEO from 2001 to 2011 before taking the role of executive chairman at Alphabet from 2015-2017 and Technical Advisor from 2017-2020.