Brad Smith assured Euronews that international coordination is essential when it comes to regulating this emerging technology.
According to Microsoft President Brad Smith, artificial intelligence is not a threat to humanity, although he said there should be barriers controlled by people. „We need safety brakes to ensure that AI remains under human control,” Brad Smith said in an interview in Brussels on Thursday.
„We can do it, and now is the time to figure out how to do it together. It has to be multi-layered, so we always have control over this technology. If we do it right, we will do it. Understand that this is not an existential threat.” Smith said.
The Microsoft executive spoke to Euronews during a trip to Europe after the start of negotiations between EU institutions on how to proceed with the world’s first-of-its-kind historic AI law that passed a significant hurdle in the previous European Parliament. month.
Smith said his company has so far been „encouraged” by EU legislation regulating the emerging technology, but when it comes to global governance on the matter, more cooperation will be needed to ensure AI doesn’t grow out of control. Microsoft’s head told Euronews that „it is realistic and indeed necessary to seek a broader level of international coordination in AI regulation.
„We need governments to come together, and I think the key is to start with focus. Don’t try to do 100 things at once. Do the eight or 10 things that are most important. Set priorities. Create a template, if you will, and then start expanding,” Smith said. „Governments will focus this way, which is not something we usually see. That’s why it could be different and I think there are reasons for optimism,” the executive argued.
In May, the EU and US announced plans for a joint voluntary code of conduct on AI, a good example of international cooperation already underway. Smith recommends that more countries participate and that such codes of conduct are likely to become mandatory in the future, although he stressed that it is important to ensure in advance that it works for everyone.
„I believe a voluntary code is mandatory, which would be great, but you have to get it right before it’s mandatory,” the Microsoft executive said.
Microsoft to „consult” national leaders in Taiwan
AI is at the forefront this year due to its rapidly growing widespread coverage, with programs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which Microsoft uses in its Bing search engine.
Geopolitical tensions have also come to the fore when it comes to this technology, with the US and, to a lesser extent, the EU trying to curb China’s ambitions in the sector.
Washington last year imposed export restrictions on US companies making AI chips and is already considering more. Add in concerns about Beijing’s intentions toward Taiwan, the world’s largest semiconductor producer, and things aren’t looking easy for Microsoft.
The company has extensive business ties in both countries.
„For a company like Microsoft, 95% of our business in the world is actually in the democracies of the world. It serves, supports and protects the democracies of the world,” he told Euronews.
„But we’re also in other parts of the world. It’s not that broad. Obviously, we’re not going to be involved in defense or the military, but there are areas. 'If people learn from each other, they’ll be connected to each other,'” Smith said.
The US has threatened economic sanctions if Beijing invades Taiwan. If that happens, Microsoft’s boss has said his company will leave guidance to world leaders on what to do next. „In this case, I’ll leave the talking to the heads of government and I think we’ll refer to their leadership when we’re dealing with other issues,” Smith told Euronews.
„Today we serve Taiwan. Today we serve Taiwan, today we serve China, but not equal. I’ll leave it at that.”