Is artificial intelligence advancing too fast?  What the heads of AI at Google are saying

Is artificial intelligence advancing too fast? What the heads of AI at Google are saying

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We can think of our time as when civilization was transformed by fire, agriculture and electricity. In 2023, we learn that a machine taught himself how to talk to humans as a peer. That is to say with creativity, truth, error and lies. The technology, known as a chatbot, is just one of recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence – machines that can self-teach superhuman skills. We explored what’s to come at Google, a leader in this new world. CEO Sundar Pichai told us that AI will be as good or as bad as human nature allows. The revolution, he says, is coming faster than you think.

Scott Pelley: Do you think society is prepared for what’s to come?

Sundar Pichai: You know, there are two ways to think about it. On the one hand, I think not, because you know, the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions, versus the pace at which technology evolves, there seems to be a lag. On the other hand, compared to any other technology, I’ve seen more people worry about it earlier in its lifecycle. So I feel optimistic. The number of people, you know, who have started to worry about the implications, and so the conversations are also starting to get serious.

OUR conversations with Sundar Pichai, 50, began at Google’s new campus in Mountain View, California. It runs on 40% solar power and harvests more water than it uses – advanced technology that Pichai could not have imagined growing up in India without a home phone.

Sundar Pichai: We were on a waiting list to get a rotary phone for about five years. He finally came home, I still remember it very well. It changed our lives. For me it was the first moment I understood the power of what access to technology meant and it probably led me to do what I do today.

What he’s been doing, since 2019, is running Google and its $1.3 trillion-valued parent company, Alphabet. Worldwide, Google powers 90% of internet searches and 70% of smartphones. But its dominance came under attack last February when Microsoft unveiled its new chatbot. In a race for AI dominance, Google has just released its version named Bard.


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