Google co-founder Sergey Brin sent the message in a letter to Alphabet shareholders (Source: Getty)
One of Google’s top execs and president of Alphabet Sergey Brin has raised concerns about the AI revolution in a letter to Alphabet’s shareholders.
In his annual letter sent to shareholders of Google umbrella organisation Alphabet yesterday, Brin said that “new questions and responsibilities” had been raised about the potential of AI.
It comes after a week when a number of silicon valley firms including Facebook and Amazon posted massive results, proving the increasing power and influence of the sector.
Concern about AI has been raised in the past, as the Financial Stability Board last year warned of the effect it could have on financial markets.
One security firm last week went as far as to say that AI could bring about a nuclear war that would wipe out humanity by 2040.
Brin prefaced his letter with a quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, writing: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
“So begins Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” and what a great articulation it is of the transformative time we live in.
“We’re in an era of great inspiration and possibility, but with this opportunity comes the need for tremendous thoughtfulness and responsibility as technology is deeply and irrevocably interwoven into our societies.”
While Brin said that the potential for computation to tackle complex problems had never been greater, he admitted that there were worries about AI that still needed to be quelled.
Such powerful tools also bring with them new questions and responsibilities. How will they affect employment across different sectors? How can we understand what they are doing under the hood? What about measures of fairness? How might they manipulate people? Are they safe?
Most notably, safety spans a wide range of concerns from the fears of sci-fi style sentience to the more near-term questions such as validating the performance of self-driving cars.