Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, has recently proposed regulations for the use of artificial intelligence. In 2018, Pichai pledged Google’s promise to use AI responsibly, citing its own internal guidelines for use. Now, as noted by a recent report from Forbes, Pichai is advocating for setting a global standard for AI that could prevent companies and others from using it without restrictions or accountability.
Google has long been a proponent of AI, including the use of software for diagnostic purposes in cancer detection and blindness prevention, project facilitation in Google Assistant support, teaching tools, and forecast prediction, among other purposes. Used for good, AI can be a critical resource to promote health, safety, education, and social change.
“It can’t solve every problem, but its potential to improve our lives is profound,” Pichai wrote in a blog post.
However, the misuse of AI is what Pichai finds particularly disturbing, with far- reaching effects. When used improperly, AI can reinforce a range of biases, violate civil rights, be activated in the use of destructive weapons, disrupt privacy when employed in surveillance or in facial recognition software, and compromise security. Global regulations could curb such abuse.
In addition, he has proposed a global adoption of the strict AI standards under review by the European Union, but rejects applying standards with a one-size-fits-all approach. Pichai cautions against the growing trend that enables developers to “just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used.”
Pichai’s emphasis on Google’s responsible use of AI is aligned with other top tech giants that have expressed concerns about its misuse. Facebook recently banned the use of misleading adroitly AI-generated, or deepfake videos, on its platform. Rival Apple has consistently fought to protect the data privacy of its users, refusing to enable more AI applications for Siri and other software.