Google CEO suggests little new regulation needed for AI

Google CEO suggests little new regulation needed for AI

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has warned against reactionary or overly broad regulation of artificial intelligence, saying that existing rules may be sufficient in an interview with the Financial Times.

Pichai suggests that “smart regulation” balancing the protection of citizens and innovation is the right approach for AI, and says that Google plans to avoid repeating tech industry mistakes of the past by working in partnership with governments. He also indicates that existing laws may be applied to AI, with new regulation possibly applied to specific industries, such as health care or energy, as needed.

In areas such as algorithmic bias, safety, and explainability, more research is needed to determine the appropriate course of action, according to Pichai.

“Rather than rushing into it in a way that prevents innovation and research, you actually need to solve some of the difficult problems,” he told the Times.

The interview was held following meetings with European politicians, and Google’s announcement of 18 new clean energy deals, and a plan to invest €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) in expanding its European data center footprint, and $2 million in grants for digital skills training for European workers.

Pichai hopes to proactively address attempts to limit AI with regulation, the Times reports.

“We are for sure definitely approaching things more deliberately than before,” he said. “Over the past few years, all of us have learnt that technology can have unintended consequences.”

Pichai said AI principles the company published last year could evolve over time. In a white paper published earlier this year, Google laid out its position on AI governance.

He also told the Times that Google could reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2030, discussed the state of the online advertising market, and collaboration among competitors on cybersecurity.

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