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The BoF Podcast | How to Turn Our Fear of AI Into Optimism

Mo Gawdat, an artificial intelligence expert and former chief business officer of Google X, explains how humans have the power to turn AI into a positive force that benefits society.
Mo Gawdat
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Background:

Public perception of artificial intelligence ranges widely. Depending on who you’re listening to, it could be a source of unlimited technological potential or a dire threat right out of a science fiction novel.

According to Mo Gawdat, the former chief business officer for Google X, concerns about AI are valid. But fears that AI will turn against humanity are misguided. Rather, says Gawdat, we have an opportunity to teach AI to be a force for good.

“If 1 percent of us, only 1 percent of humanity... show the good side of us in front of those machines, those machines will be intelligent enough to say humanity is a divine being,” Gawdat said at BoF VOICES 2022.

This week on The BoF Podcast, Gawdat discusses the future of AI and why ethics are crucial to managing its development.

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Key Insights:

  • As AI continues to evolve at a startling pace, Gawdat believes it will surpass human intelligence in the next few years. “My prediction is that [in] 2049, AI will be a billion times smarter than humans… It’s a comparison between the intelligence of Einstein and the intelligence of a fly. And we are the fly,” says Gawdat.
  • Gawdat compares humanity’s relationship with AI to that of a parent and child. The technology has the potential to be greater than its creators, but like a child, it needs a positive influence to grow.
  • Gawdat believes humanity can teach AI morals and ethics that are in society’s best interest. “If we start to look at those machines as a new form of artificial being, a form of being that’s going to come into our society, then the question that we need to ask is a question of ethics. It’s not a question of control,” says Gawdat.
  • Gawdat believes humans can show AI the positive parts of society, but humanity needs to first understand how to get over its obstacle of negative bias. “The truth of humanity is amazing,” he says. “The only problem we have is we stopped showing that. We just talk about the negativity and the fakeness.”

Additional Resources:

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