Microsoft chairman worries AI could be weaponized

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, believes that AI can be turned into a weapon that threatens life, unless there is human intervention.

"Every technology ever invented has the potential to be a tool but also a weapon," Smith told CNBC. "We need to ensure AI is under human control. Any organization, whether government or military, that is thinking of using AI to automate critical infrastructure, needs to ensure humans to be able to slow down or turn things off when needed."

Microsoft President Brad Smith. Photo: Reuters

Microsoft is one of the leaders in artificial intelligence and invested early in OpenAI. The company also introduced AI into the Bing search engine, and spent billions of dollars researching other artificial intelligence applications.

Smith said Microsoft is aware of the potential risks associated with using AI, and advocates for other companies to "do the right thing." He also advocates for countries to introduce new laws and regulations to ensure safety protocols are followed.

"Imagine, the power source depends on circuit breakers, the bus has emergency brakes," he said. "We already have similar control with other technologies. Now it should also apply to AI."

Smith is the latest technology leader to express concern that AI could be turned into a weapon of destruction. In May, Geoffrey Hinton, one of the pioneers of AI, left Google to warn of the dangers of this technology. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI - the company behind ChatGPT, also said the biggest fear with AI is that it can harm the world if left unchecked. Elon Musk also believes that AI could become a weapon that causes "the end of humanity".

In March, more than 1,100 prominent technology experts and researchers signed an open letter calling for a halt to the development of powerful artificial intelligence systems for at least 6 months to "collectively build a common set of rules." in the spirit of advanced AI development, closely tested and supervised by independent experts." The letter included Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, and the so-called "godfather of AI" Yoshua Bengio .

However, there are also experts who argue against the risk of "AI creating evil robot overlords". Nick Clegg, a director of Meta, also believes that current generative AI models are "quite stupid", not smart enough to destroy human civilization.

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