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Google's Eric Schmidt Downplays Fears Over Artificial Intelligence


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Google Chairman Eric Schmidt

"[AI] technology will ultimately be one of the greatest forces for good in mankind's history simply because it makes people smarter," says Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Credit: Reuters

Google chairman Eric Schmidt suggested fear over artificial intelligence (AI) is overblown during a keynote address at the South by Southwest Conference with author Walter Isaacson and U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith. Schmidt says we are still in the beginning stages of understanding AI, adding that he would not be worried about anything in the next 20 to 30 years. "Stuff beyond that is, at this point, really speculation," Schmidt said. "I'm not a dystopian."

Schmidt says tremendous progress has been made in AI, highlighting benevolent uses such as Google Voice and Google's translation services. He also says machine learning has the potential to help solve every problem. "I can't think of a field of study, a field of research — whether it's English, soft sciences, hard sciences, or any corporation — that can't become far more efficient, far more powerful, far more clever," Schmidt said. "I think that this technology will ultimately be one of the greatest forces for good in mankind's history simply because it makes people smarter."

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