Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, said that the fast growth of AI will affect “every product of every company.” He warned that society needs to get ready for technologies like the ones Google has already released.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, interviewer Scott Pelley tried a few of Google’s AI projects and said he was “speechless” and “uneasy” about how human-like they were. He was talking about how Google’s chatbot Bard could act like a person.
“As a society, we need to adapt to it,” Pichai told Pelley. He also said that “knowledge workers” like writers, lawyers, architects, and, ironically, software engineers, would have their jobs changed by AI.
Pichai said, “This will affect every product at every company.” “For instance, you could be a doctor, and if you think about five to ten years from now, you’ll be working with AI. If you come in the morning and have 100 things to look at, it might say, “These are the most important cases you need to look at first.”
Pelley looked at other parts of Google that had advanced AI products, like DeepMind, where robots were playing soccer, which they had taught themselves instead of being taught by people. In another room, robots were shown that could see what was on a counter and bring Pelley an apple when he asked for it.
When talking about the effects of AI, sundar Pichai said that the problem of false information, fake news, and fake pictures will be “much bigger,” and that “it could cause harm.”
Last month, CNBC said that Pichai told Google workers that the success of its newly launched Bard program now depends on public testing and that “things will go wrong.”
Last month, Google put its AI chatbot Bard out to the public as a trial. It came after Microsoft said in January that its search engine Bing would use OpenAI’s GPT technology. This technology got a lot of attention around the world when ChatGPT came out in 2022.
But in recent weeks, the public and critics have also started to worry about the effects of the fast progress. In March, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and dozens of researchers said that training “experiments” for large language models that were “more powerful than GPT-4,” OpenAI’s flagship LLM, should stop right away. Since then, more than 25,000 people have signed the letter.
In the episode, Pelley said, “Competition between giants like Google and startups you’ve never heard of is pushing humanity into the future, whether we’re ready or not.”
Google has released a document with “recommendations for regulating AI,” but Pichai said that society must quickly change with regulations, laws to punish abuse, and treaties between nations to make AI safe for the world, as well as rules that “Align with human values, including morality.”
Pichai said, “It’s not up to a company to decide.” “This is why I think that not only engineers, but also social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, and so on, need to work on this.”
When asked if society is ready for AI technology like Bard, Pichai said, “On one hand, I feel no, because the rate at which we can think and adapt as social institutions seems to be slower than the rate at which technology is changing.”
But he added that he is hopeful because, unlike with other technologies in the past, “the number of people who have started worrying about the implications” did so early on.
From Pelley’s six-word suggestion, Bard made up a story with characters and a plot, like a man whose wife couldn’t get pregnant and a stranger who lost a baby and wants to find peace. “I’m rarely at a loss for words,” Pelley said. “The people moving faster than humans was a shock.”
Pelley said that when he asked Bard why it helps people, it told him, “Because it makes me happy,” which surprised him. “Bard seems to be thinking,” he told James Manyika, an executive vice president at Google who was hired last year to be in charge of “technology and society.” Manyika said that Bard is not aware of itself and is not conscious, but it can “act like” it.
Pichai also said that Bard has a lot of hallucinations after Pelley said that he asked Bard about inflation and got an instant answer with ideas for five books that, when he checked later, didn’t exist.
Pelley seemed worried when Pichai said that robots have “a black box” where “you don’t fully understand” why or how they come up with certain answers.