Artificial intelligence (AI) may the “the most consequential” technological change in our lifetime, and governments now need to learn how to control it, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Smith said that “government needs to move faster” to stay on top of the developments that are happening in AI.
And while Smith called for governments to step up, he also said that the private sector has a role to play in controlling how AI develops.
As part of the private sector’s role, Smith announced Microsoft’s “5-point blueprint for governing AI,” saying on Twitter that the firm’s aim is to bring the public and private sector together so that AI “serves all society.”
Meanwhile, in comments given to the New York Times, Smith suggested that the government should require companies that work on advanced AI models to obtain a license.
“That means you notify the government when you start testing,” Smith said, while adding that results from ongoing operations also should be shared with the government:
“You’ve got to share results with the government. Even when it’s licensed for deployment, you have a duty to continue to monitor it and report to the government if there are unexpected issues that arise.”
Still, Smith acknowledged that he and Microsoft, one of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI’s owners, don’t necessarily know what the past course of action is for the government.
“We don’t necessarily have the best information or the best answer, or we may not be the most credible speaker. But, you know, right now, especially in Washington D.C., people are looking for ideas,” he said.
According to some estimates, Microsoft has spent some $13 billion on backing OpenAI and on integrating the ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.
The comments from Microsoft’s President comes after more than 1,100 industry insiders in March signed an open letter asking governments to “pause giant AI experiments.”
“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” the experts wrote in the letter, while calling for “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”