Google CEO Sundar Pichai Issues Dire Warning Over Rapid Rise Of AI

hero robot hand touching human hand
In an interview with 60 Minutes, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai admitted the company does not fully understand how AI works. The CEO added society is not prepared for the upcoming rapid development of AI, which will impact "every product of every company."

During the interview with Pichai and others from Google, CBS' Scott Pelley was left "speechless" and having "unsettling" feelings surrounding Google's chatbot Bard. When Pelley asked Bard to summarize the New Testament, Bard did so in just 17 words. When a six-word short story was input, often attributed to Hemingway, and told to "Finish this story," Bard had Pelley exclaiming "Holy cow!" Pelley added, "Bard created a deeply human tale, with human characters it invented."

Google bard screenshot

Pichai indicated that the negative side of AI left him unsettled as well. He remarked, "It can be very harmful if deployed wrongly and we don't have all the answers there yet - and the technology is moving fast. So, does that keep me up at night? Absolutely."

The idea of AI regulation has been a hot topic as of late. The Future of Life Institute released an open letter asking for the pause of giant AI experiments for the next six months. This led to Bill Gates responding that a pause would not "solve the challenges" ahead, and only hurt AI development for those who abided by the pause. Pichai says that governments need to figure out a global framework for AI regulation similar to what is used for nuclear arms use.

When asked how AI will impact humanity, Pichai remarked, "We need to adapt as a society for it." This is because many jobs will be changed, while others will go away completely. Those that are believed to be going away first include writers, accountants, architects, and "ironically, even software engineers." Others will see their job descriptions being changed to include AI assistants, robotics, etc.

Perhaps adding to the growing concerns surrounding AI, Pichai says Google does not fully understand how the technology works. He explained, "There is an aspect of this which we call, all of us in the field call it as a 'black box'. You know, you don't fully understand. And you can't quite tell why it said this, or why it got wrong." He defended his statement by adding, "Let me put it this way. I don't think we fully understand how a human mind works either."

The full 60 Minutes interview with Sundar Pichai can be viewed on CBS's website.