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Microsoft Corporation’s Chief Economist, Michael Schwarz, stated his primary concern about the swift integration of artificial intelligence in the economy is not the impending wave of job losses but instead bad actors acquiring AI systems for nefarious purposes, according to Bloomberg

“I am confident AI will be used by bad actors, and yes, it will cause real damage,” Schwarz said at the World Economic Forum’s Growth Summit 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. He said, “It can do a lot of damage in the hands of spammers with elections and so on.” 

Schwarz emphasized that AI undeniably requires regulation, but he advised lawmakers to have a “wait-and-see” mindset until the technology causes “real harm.”

“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?'”

“The principles should be, the benefits from the regulation to our society should be greater than the cost to our society,” the exec said. 

According to Schwarz, Microsoft is constructing safeguards to minimize the potential risks posed by AI tools. The company integrated OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search function a few months ago, while Google launched Bard chatbot in March.

Any successful AI regulation must exclude AI training sets. He said if regulated, “that would be pretty disastrous. If Congress were to make those decisions about training sets, good luck to us.”

Last month, Elon Musk told Tucker Carlson he had been a longtime advocate of ‘sensible’ AI regulation to ensure companies don’t skip on safety measures, thereby mitigating some harm to the public. He said an agency would need to be created to oversee the technology. 

“I think we have a better chance of advanced AI being beneficial to humanity in that circumstance,” the billionaire said.

Musk warned how AI systems in the hands of bad actors could negatively influence public opinion. 

While industry insiders and lawmakers have the will to regulate AI, the path forward appears difficult because of the ever-changing nature of the technology. And imagine if the technology is used to sway the 2024 presidential elections… 


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