As we spend more time online and looking at our screens, we're increasingly living in a digital world. But we don't always know who runs it.
Tech companies are writing the rules — through computer algorithms powered by artificial intelligence. The thing is, Big Tech may have set something in motion it doesn't fully understand, nor control.
On this episode of GZERO World, Ian Bremmer talks to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who believes we need to control AI before it controls us.
What's troubling about AI, he says, is that it’s like nothing we’ve seen before. Instead of being precise, AI — like humans — learns by doing.
China is already doing pretty scary stuff with AI, like surveillance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. For Schmidt, that's because the Chinese have a different set of values, which he doesn't want to influence the AI that for instance controls the algorithms of TikTok.
Yet, he blames algorithms, not China, for the polarization on social media. Schmidt is all for free speech, but not for robots.
Schmidt also worries about AI exacerbating existent problems like anxiety. Everything becomes a crisis because that's the only way to get people's attention. Tech created by humans is now driving a human addiction cycle that ultimately leads to depression.
Schmidt says we need to debate how we live with AI before the tech gets so fast, so smart that it can decide things that affect us all — before we even know we had a choice.
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