AI could cause new Cold War if US and China dont talk, warns former Google CEO

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Artificial intelligence could be as dangerous as nuclear weapons and we'll need a new Cold War to stop it blowing us up, according to Google's former CEO.

Speaking at a panel at the Aspen Security Panel about the dangers of AI, Eric Schmidt said he was 'naive' in his early days at Google about the power of information.

He then compared artificial intelligence to nuclear weapons and said the world is 'not ready' for the negotiations it needs to hold.

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Pointing to the so-called AI 'arms race' between China and the USA, Schmidt said the two countries could inadvertently set off a conflict using AI if they don't negotiate a treaty to co-exist peacefully.

Schmidt, who was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, told the panel: “In the 50s and 60s, we eventually worked out a world where there was a ‘no surprise’ rule about nuclear tests and eventually they were banned.

"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 U.S. view of 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 kind of 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 and yet AI is that powerful.”

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He highlighted that the world only reached an agreement to ban nuclear tests after the devastating effect of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.

Schmidt's warning comes days after Google reportedly sacked AI engineer Blake Lemoine after he claimed a Google machine learning algorithm had become 'sentient'.

Lemoine said the AI, called LaMDA, was a 'sweet kid' and said: "LaMDA has been incredibly consistent in its communications about what it wants and what it believes its rights are as a person. It wants to be acknowledged as an employee of Google rather than as property."


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  • Artificial Intelligence
  • China
  • Google

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