The debate around artificial intelligence isn’t new. But as AI-enabled technology becomes more mainstream slowly yet surely the discourse seems to be shifting from the magical capabilities of super-intelligence to the threats to humanity it could pose. Or, as Google CEO Sundar Pichai calls them “deep, real concerns” the answers to which we’re still seeking. On the eve of Google’s showpiece event where it announced the second generation Pixel phones along with a wide-range of smart-home devices, Pichai told the media that the future of Google is AI. And it is the “most powerful technology” humans could ever build. Also Read - Google Play Store announces blanket ban on Sugar Daddy apps over sexual contentAlso Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
“AI is the most powerful technology humans will invent in the long run. There are deep, real concerns still. Do we develop something we cannot control? I don’t think we have the answers yet. But I am also equally convinced that it is going to be more beneficial than anything has ever [been]. And a lot of the benefits will start playing out in the next couple of decades,” Pichai told NDTV. Google, of course, has been facing flak for its faulty news algorithms that supposedly promoted misinformation in the recent shooting at Las Vegas, US. If basic news algos can go so woefully wrong, what about AI… the world seems to ask of Google? ALSO READ: Google Pixel 2 XL vs Google Pixel XL: What s different Also Read - Fake Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Lite APK links going viral on the internet: How to spot them
As Google reboots itself as an “AI-first” organization, Pichai is clear that for artificial intelligence to positively impact the world, the entire technology universe needs to “self-regulate” and put in place “ethical approaches”. Right now, Google is not only integrating AI capabilities into every product it develops, but is also building products that are unimaginable sans AI. For instance, the just-launched AI-powered camera, Google Clips, starts shooting pictures as soon as it detects action within the frame. It could be a person smiling or an animal leaping or a child crying. Clips is equipped to shoot without any human instruction. That is both scary and stunning. ALSO READ: Google I/O 2017: Artificial Intelligence-first finally becomes a thing
While some might believe that Google is careless about user privacy and that is a real concern given how much Google knows about you Pichai is of the opinion that AI can fix the problem “heuristically” (essentially, trial-and-error). “Down the line, the system can be much more sophisticated about understanding what is sensitive for users, because it understands context better,” Pichai told The Verge. Clips is different in the sense that it doesn’t pair facial recognition with anything stored on Google Cloud earlier. It also doesn’t sync photos to the phone unless humanly instructed to. So, despite being an AI-powered device, it doesn’t entirely eliminate the need for human intervention.
And that is the course Pichai wants Google to take for future devices or services “A hybrid approach absolutely makes sense. We will thoughtfully invest in both. Depending on the context, depending on what you’re dealing with, it’ll make sense to deploy it [AI] differently,” he said.