Brad Smith, president and vice president of Microsoft Corporation, said in an interview that aired Sunday on “Face the Nation” that he expects the U.S. government to regulatein the coming year.
The European Union and China have already developed national strategies, but the United States has yet to do so.
“I was in Japan just three weeks ago, and they have a national AI strategy. The government has adopted it,” Smith said. “The world is moving forward. Let’s make sure the United States at least keeps pace with the rest of the world.”
“Artificial intelligence” is an umbrella term for computer systems capable of performing tasks that require human intelligence, and includes technology used in familiar devices such as Siri and a Roomba. Recently, AI systems capable of creating text, audio and images have been in the newslike Google’s Bard or ChatGPT-4, or image generators like Dall-E.
Smith said he thinks the country needs standards for how AI-generated content is regulated, especially when it comes to content that imitates humans.
Last week, a deepfake image circulated online of an explosion near the Pentagon potentially partially created by AI. Although the images were quickly debunked, it did move markets, noted “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan. Smith said “we’ll need a system that we and so many others have worked to develop that protects the content, that puts a watermark on it so that if someone changes it, if someone removes the watermark, if they’re doing it to try to deceive or defraud someone, first of all they’re doing something that the law makes it illegal.”
But as Brennan noted, Washington is entering a presidential election year — and these deepfake images could impact the election. A recent political attack ad that used AI-generated imagery to depict an imagined dystopian future. The ad, published by the Republican National Committee, mimics a 2024 report after the presidential election. It shows images created by Chinese artificial intelligence invading Taiwan, businesses shut down, and images of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrating their re-election.
“Well, I think there’s an opportunity to take some real action in 2023, so we have some guardrails in place for 2024,” Smith said. “So we identify in my view, especially when we see foreign cyber influence operations from a Russia, China or Iran, who are spreading information that they know to be false and designed to deceive, including using artificial intelligence. And that will require the tech industry to join government and it will really require more government.”
In Congress, Democrat Sens Michael Bennet of Colorado and Peter Welch of Vermont have proposed legislation to create a commission to regulate the artificial intelligence industry and ensure it is safe and accessible to American citizens. Earlier this month, the White House announced new initiatives promoting responsible innovation in AI
Smith said Microsoft is specifically focused on how news organizations can protect their content and how candidates and campaigns can protect the cybersecurity of their operations. He also told Brennan that Microsoft was working with the White House to answer their questions.
“They, and really the people of Washington DC, basically in both political parties, are asking the same questions,” Smith said. “What does this mean for the future of my work? What does this mean for the future of school for my children? Deep down, we’re all wondering how to get the most out of this and put in place the kinds of safeguards to protect against the risks that may come with it. »
Smith said if existing laws are to be applied to AI, he thinks the country would benefit from a new framework to specifically regulate artificial intelligence.
“As far as protecting the security of the nation. I think we would benefit from a new agency, a new licensing system, something that would not only ensure that these models are developed safely, but that ‘They’re deployed in, for example, large data centers, where they can be protected against cybersecurity, physical security and national security threats,’ Smith said.
Brennan said the CEO of Stability AI said AI was going to be “a bigger disruption than the pandemic,” and the head of one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions asked what that means for education. Smith suggested that math exams could be AI, which Brennan noted will cost jobs.
“Well, actually think about the shortage of teachers we have and the lack of time for the teachers we have,” Smith said. “What would be better? For a teacher to sit down and mark a math test, compare the numbers with the chart of correct answers, or release that teacher so they can spend more time with the kids? So they can think about what they want to teach the next day, so they can use this technology to prepare faster and more efficiently for that lesson the next day.”
In creative industries, AI can build on work that has already been done. So Brennan asked how the compensation would be calculated?
Smith said there are two different aspects to the compensation of people in the creative industries. First, “will we live where the people who create things of value continue to be compensated?” He said the answer “is and should be yes” and “we will have copyright laws and other intellectual property laws that will continue to apply and make this a reality”.
But, he said, there’s a “broader aspect” to the issue of compensation, namely that AI will make “good” employees better, while “weaker” employees could be put off. the challenge.
“What should excite us is the opportunity to use it to improve,” Smith said. “Frankly, to eliminate things that are kind of a chore. And yes, that will raise the bar. Life happens that way. So let’s all enjoy the moment, let’s make skill opportunities widely available. Let’s make it easy. Let’s do even so that it’s fun for people to learn.”
Smith said AI will create and displace jobs over the next few years.
“There will be new jobs that will be created. There are jobs that exist today that didn’t exist a year ago in this field,” Smith said. “And there will be jobs that will be displaced. There always will be.”
“I think we’ll see it play out over years, not months,” Smith said. “But it will be years, not decades, although things will progress over decades too. There will be new jobs that will be created. There are jobs that exist today that did not exist ago. a year in this field. And there are There will always be jobs that will be displaced. There always are. But I think for most of us, the way we work is going to change. It will be a new set of skills, which we will, frankly, have to develop and acquire.
Smith advised against a six-month hiatus on AI experimentation, which tech giants Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniakmany months ago.
“I think the bigger question is, look, what’s going to happen in six months, is it different from today? How would we use those six months to put the railings in place that would protect security etc? Well, let’s get to that,” Smith said. “Rather than slowing down the pace of technology, which I think is extraordinarily difficult, I don’t think China going to jump on this bandwagon. Let’s use six months to go faster.”