Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, spoke to a crowd of media and internet enthusiasts at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on the French Riviera, where he addressed the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying his company will soon be launching an AI that can automatically respond to IM messages.
Schmidt noted that the entire Silicon Valley tech industry is “now convulsed in this tech.”
Before you start to freak out over the rise of the robots, the Hollywood Reporter provides some words of calm from Google’s former CEO.
This “limited intuition” tech — where an AI can do something on an “I just felt” impulse — will take over the assistant space within five years, he predicted.
While Schmidt tried to calm any AI fears stoked by Hollywood — “We’ve all seen these movies,” he joked — Google has established a policy that its AI will be developed for the benefit of humanity and that there will be systems in place in case anything goes awry.
AI is fed data to work with humans in an assistant capacity, such as chemistry problems. “To be clear, we’re not talking about consciousness, we’re not talking about souls, we’re not talking about independent creativity,” said Schmidt.
The computers will not be clever, and military might is not in the plan.
Of course Google will do no evil with AI, just like it did no evil to Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary by skewing search results in Hillary Clinton’s favor…but just in case AI does go Terminator Skynet crazy, Schmidt says Google is adding an OFF switch to AI computers.
“We’ll make make sure that people know how to turn this stuff off should we get to that point.”
“There are a large number of issues of automation from a military context, and Google has taken a very strong position in not being involved in that. But remember that for every offensive scenario you can think of, you can also think of a defensive scenario that’s just as intelligent.”
“And remember, these systems learn by training, so the more examples they have, the more they can protect you.”
And if the off switch does not work, than you can always unplug the thing…like this: