SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Joe Biden and other global leaders have huddled with Silicon Valley titans in San Francisco over the past few days, their discussions often focused on artificial intelligence, a technology that could change the world for the better or Expects to be reshaped for the worse.
For all the collective brainpower present at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, there was no concrete answer to one key question: Will AI be the springboard that takes humanity to new heights, or a nightmare that will result in its destruction?
“The world is at an inflection point — that’s no exaggeration,” Biden said Thursday at the CEO summit held in conjunction with APEC. “The decisions we make today are going to shape the direction of the world for decades to come.”
Not surprisingly, most of the technology CEOs attending the summit were generally excited about AI’s potential to uncover breakthroughs that will make workers more productive and ultimately improve standards of living.
No one was more optimistic than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whose software company has invested more than $10 billion in OpenAI, the startup behind the AI chatbot ChatGPIT.
Like many of his peers, Nadella says he believes AI will prove to be as transformative as the advent of the personal computer during the 1980s, the rise of the Internet during the 1990s, and the smartphone during the 2000s. Had arrived.
“We finally have a way to interact with computing using natural language. That is, we finally have a technology that understands us, not the other way around,” Nadella said at the CEO Summit. “As our interactions with technology become more and more natural, computers will increasingly be able to see and interpret our intent and understand the world around us.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, whose Internet company is increasingly filling its impressive search engine with AI, is similarly optimistic about humanity’s ability to control technology in a way that will make the world a better place.
“I think we have to work hard to harness it,” Pichai said. “But that’s true of every other technological advancement we’ve made before. This was true for the Industrial Revolution. I think we can learn from those things.”
The enthusiasm shown by Nadella and Pichai has been echoed by investors who were betting that AI will pay off for Microsoft and Google. Growing advances in AI are the main reason why the share prices of both Microsoft and Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., have risen more than 50% so far this year. Those gains have combined to produce an additional $1.6 trillion in shareholder wealth.
But the view outside the tech industry is more cautious.
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said, “Everyone has learned to say AI, but they don’t really know what to do about it.” “They have huge benefits written all over them. “They also have a lot of cautionary tales about how technology can be misused.”
Robert Moritz, global president of consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said there are legitimate concerns about “doomsday discussions” focused on the effects of AI, about the possibility of it potentially replacing the need for people to do a wide range of jobs.
Companies have found ways to retrain people who lost their jobs in previous waves of technological upheaval, Moritz said, and that will have to happen again or “we will have a mismatch, which will bring more turbulence, which we can afford.” can not do.”
San Francisco, the host city for APEC, is counting on billions of dollars of investment in AI and expanding payrolls among startups like OpenAI and Anthropic to revive the fortunes of a city still grappling with pandemic-induced change. Struggling to adjust. Due to this, more people have started working from home.
The existential threat posed to humanity by AI is one of the reasons why tech mogul Elon Musk had to spend part of his estimated $240 billion to launch a startup called XAI over the summer. Musk was scheduled to discuss his hopes and fears around AI during the CEO Summit with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, but canceled on Thursday due to an undisclosed conflict.