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Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated: Alphabet CEO

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The chief executive officer of Google's parent company Alphabet called for artificial intelligence or AI to be regulated, noting that there are real concerns about the potential negative consequences of the technology.

According to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, there are real concerns about the negative consequences of AI, from deepfakes to nefarious uses of facial recognition. He called upon companies developing new AI tools to adopt guiding principles and rigorous review processes.

"Now there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to," Pichai said in a speech in Brussels at an event hosted by a European economic think tank.

He cited the examples of how an AI model helped doctors spot breast cancer in mammograms with grater accuracy and how AI is being used to make quick and accurate hyperlocal forecasts of rainfall.

Pichai expressed the hope that government regulation of AI will play an important role, and that the U.S. and Europe are already starting to develop regulatory proposals.

Existing rules such as Europe's General Data Protection Regulation can serve as a strong foundation for governing AI, he added.

However, sensible regulation must take a proportionate approach by balancing potential harms, especially in high-risk areas, with social opportunities.

Pichai noted that in 2018, Google published its own AI principles to help guide the ethical development and use of AI. Specific areas where Google will not design or deploy AI include supporting mass surveillance and violation of human rights.

In October 2018, Google decided not to compete in the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar cloud computing contract, saying that the project might not align with its AI principles.

Google had earlier said it would not allow its AI products to be used in military weapons. The company had come under intense criticism from its own employees for supplying image-recognition technology to the U.S. Department of Defense, in a partnership called Project Maven.

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