First time I interviewed Eric Schmidt, a dozen years ago when he was CEO of Google, I had a simple question about technology becoming capable of spying on and monetizing all of our movements, opinions, attitudes, and tastes.
“Friend or foe?” I asked.
“We claim to be friends,” Schmidt replied coldly.
Now that the former Google CEO has released the book on Tuesday on »Age of AI, ”I wrote with Henry Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocher, I wanted to ask him the same question about AI:“ Friend or foe? ”
“AI is inaccurate, which means it can be unreliable as a partner,” he said when we met at his Chelsea office. “It’s dynamic in the sense that it’s constantly changing. He shows up and does things you don’t expect. And most importantly, he can learn.
“It will be everywhere. What does an artificial intelligence best friend look like, especially to a child? What does a war with artificial intelligence look like? Does AI perceive aspects of reality that we don’t? Is it possible that artificial intelligence will see things that people can’t understand? “
Speaking of alarms triggered by similar ones Musk in Stephen Hawking, Schmidt said that “they think that by releasing AI you will eventually end up getting a robot that is 10 or 100 or 1000 times smarter than humans. My answer is different. I think there is all the evidence that these AI systems will be think not like humans, but they will be very smart. We will have to coexist. “
Do you think Siri and Alexa won’t kill us one night?
“No,” he said. “But maybe they’ll become your child’s best friend.”
Opinions about artificial intelligence are very different. Jaron Lanier, the father of virtual reality, he rolls his eyes on a Silicon Valley digestate obsessed with the “science fiction fantasy” of artificial intelligence
“Sometimes he can become a giant, false god,” he told me. “You have these nerds who have a terrible reputation for treating women who become creators of life. “You women with your tiny biological wombs can’t resist us. We are creating a great life here. We are the super gods of the future. “
We’ve known for some time that Silicon Valley is driving us down the drain. The nonsensical claims they once could not obtain – from democratic pedophile circles to fraudulent elections to vaccine conspiracy theories – are now spreading at the speed of light. Teenagers can get depressed because of the brilliant, misleading world of Instagram, which is owned by a manipulative and greedy company formerly known as Facebook.
Schmidt said an Oxford student told him about the poison of social media: “Combining boredom and anonymity is dangerous.” Especially at the crossroads of addiction and envy.
The question of whether we will lose control due to artificial intelligence may be over. Technology is already manipulating us.
Schmidt admits that the lack of foresight among cloud masters about where technology is going was “stupid”.
“I’ll say, 10 years ago, when I worked really hard on these social networks, maybe it’s just naivety, but we never thought governments would use them against citizens like in 2016, by Russian interference.
“We didn’t think it would then unite these special interest groups with these violently powerful belief systems. No one ever discussed it. I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes with the new core technology. “
That’s what he said National Security Commission for Artificial Intelligence, who chaired it earlier this year, concluded that America is still “a little ahead of China” in the technology race, but China is “investing too much against us.” The authors write that they are most concerned about other countries developing weapons through artificial intelligence with “substantial destructive potential” that “might be able to adapt and learn a lot beyond their intended goals.”
“The first thing we need to look at between the US and China is to ensure that there is no‘ Dr. Strangelove’s scenario, launching a warning to provide time for human decision-making, ”he said. “Imagine you’re on a ship in the future and a small computer system tells the captain,‘ You have 24 seconds before you’re dead because a hypersonic rocket is coming at you. You must now press this button. ‘ You want to trust artificial intelligence, but because of its inaccurate nature, what if it makes a mistake? ”
I asked if he thought Facebook could leave its problems if it changed its name to Meta.
“The problem is, what do you call FAANG shares now? MAANG? “He said of the biggest technology stocks – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.” Google changed its name to Alphabet, but Google was still Google. “
And what about that that creepy metaverse Is Zuckerberg trying to lure us?
“All the people who talk about metaverses are talking about worlds that are more satisfying than the current world – you are richer, prettier, prettier, stronger, faster. Thus, in a few years, people will decide to spend more time with glasses in the metaverse. And who can set the rules? The world will become more digital than physical. And that’s not necessarily the best thing for human society. “
Schmidt said his book raises questions that cannot yet be answered.
Unfortunately, we will not know the answers until it is too late.