Alphabet Inc chief executive officer Sundar Pichai yesterday urged the US and EU to coordinate regulatory approaches on artificial intelligence (AI), calling their alignment “critical.”
In a rare public speech in Brussels at an event hosted by the European economic think tank Bruegel, Pichai, who is also chief executive officer of Google LLC, said “there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated,” but that “we don’t have to start from scratch” with entirely new rules in some cases.
Tech giants need to be given a say as governments formulate AI regulatory policy, he said.
“All of us have to do this together,” he said. “I think going it alone won’t work for anyone
The comments came weeks before the EU is set to unveil its plans to legislate the technology, which could include new legally binding requirements for AI developers in “high-risk sectors,” such as healthcare and transport, according to an early draft obtained by Bloomberg.
The new rules could require companies to be transparent about how they build their systems.
Later in the day Pichai was due to meet with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for more than 8 billion euros (US$8.9 billion) of antitrust fines levied against Google, and oversees the bloc’s digital policies, including the plans to legislate AI, as well as European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, who is spearheading the EU’s fight against climate change.
Alphabet has battled intense regulatory pressure in Europe for years. It is challenging the EU’s multibillion-dollar antitrust fines and has sought to fight off copyright and other forms of platform regulation emanating from Brussels in the past few years.
Pichai cautiously welcomed plans for rules that take “a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms with social opportunities.”
Facial recognition technology and so-called deep fakes — or manipulated audio and video clips — are two areas where AI could be used destructively, and companies have a responsibility “to get this right,” he said.
Google has released open datasets to help researchers build better tools to detect fakes, but has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition application programming interfaces, he said.
Pichai touted the company’s recent developments in AI, including a Google Health algorithm that can spot breast cancer more accurately than doctors and other research for accurately predicting the weather as well as advancements by its self-driving vehicle unit, Waymo.
He said existing rules such as Europe’s privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation, and regulation for medical devices, such as AI-assisted heart monitors, would serve as strong foundations for governing AI in some areas, but governments need to establish regulations covering self-driving vehicles.
Google has come under intense criticism over how it handles users’ privacy with some of its AI projects.
Google faces a US federal inquiry after the Wall Street Journal in November last year reported how it collects the healthcare data from millions of Americans to design new AI software.
It is also facing scrutiny over the methods it uses for training algorithms that run Google Assistant.
Additional reporting by AFP
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
‘LITTLE CHOICE’: The airline said it expected only about 8,000 of its 29,000 employees to be working by next month, but hoped to have 21,000 in the next two years Qantas Airways Ltd plans to cut at least 6,000 jobs and keep 15,000 more workers on extended furloughs as Australia’s largest airline tries to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Qantas yesterday announced a plan to reduce costs by billions of dollars and raise fresh capital. The plan includes grounding 100 planes for a year or more and immediately retiring its six remaining Boeing Co 747 planes. Chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline has to become smaller as it braces for several years of much lower revenues. He said the furloughed workers faced a long interruption to their airline careers. “The actions that we’re taking
Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday. The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday. The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years. TSMC is likely to
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price