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Microsoft’s chief economist says AI will ’cause real damage’ once it falls into the wrong hands

Microsoft headquartersMicrosoft’s chief economist believes AI could cause a lot of damage.

Stephen Brashear

  • Microsoft’s chief economist said AI could be dangerous if misused by bad actors.
  • Michael Schwarz made the comments during a panel appearance in Geneva, Bloomberg reported.
  • The concerns over AI’s dangers come despite Microsoft accelerating the development of AI.

AI “will cause real damage” if it falls into the wrong hands, Microsoft’s chief economist has said.

During a World Economic Forum panel on Wednesday, Michael Schwarz said he believed AI could do a lot of damage if used by people like “spammers,” who attempted to disrupt elections, Bloomberg reported.

“I am confident AI will be used by bad actors, and yes it will cause real damage,” Schwarz said during the panel in Geneva.

The comments come after Microsoft helped fuel a fresh wave of interest in AI in recent months having made a multi-year, multibillion-dollar bet on ChatGPT developer OpenAI, while integrating AI into its suite of products like Bing and Office to pose a new challenge to Google.

Though Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is optimistic about the opportunities AI holds, saying in February that the technology would create more jobs and make existing ones more productive, fears have been growing about advanced AI despite the serious risks it presents.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT have frequently been shown to make errors. OpenAI’S CEO, Sam Altman, acknowledged in February that the chatbot had some issues. He described it as “cool” but a “horrible product.” 

During the panel, Schwarz said he believed AI should be regulated, but cautioned against regulation that got in the way of the potential benefits AI holds. 

“Once we see real harm, we have to ask ourselves the simple question: ‘Can we regulate that in a way where the good things that will be prevented by this regulation are less important?'” Schwarz said. 

In March, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates wrote: “The age of AI has begun.” He said the development of the technology was as important as the development of others, such as the internet and mobile phones, and had potential to shake up industries. 

Microsoft did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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