Microsoft has just endorsed a series of regulations on artificial intelligence, at a time when the company is navigating concerns from governments around the world about the risks of this technology.
Microsoft, which has promised to incorporate artificial intelligence into many of its products, proposed a number of standards including a requirement that systems used in critical infrastructure be able to disable or slow down completely, similar to a train’s emergency braking system.
The company also called for laws that clarify when additional legal obligations apply to an AI system and labels that make it clear when an image or video has been produced by a computer.
Act now on AI or be swept away by it
“Companies have to step up,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in an interview about the push for regulation. “The government has to move faster.”
The call for regulation comes on top of the rise of Artificial Intelligence, with the launch of the ChatGPT chatbot in November generating a flurry of interest.
Companies such as Microsoft and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have since rushed to incorporate the technology into their products. That has stoked concerns that companies are sacrificing security to get to the next big thing ahead of their competitors.
Lawmakers have publicly expressed concern that these artificial intelligence products, which can generate text and images on their own, will create a flood of misinformation, be used by criminals and put people out of work.
Creators of modern AI ask to be regulated by governments
In response to that scrutiny, artificial intelligence developers have called for shifting some of the burden of policing the technology to the government.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, which is responsible for ChatGPT and counts Microsoft as an investor, testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee this month that the government should regulate such technology.
The move echoes calls for new privacy or social networking laws by Internet companies such as Google and Facebook parent Meta.
In the interview, the Microsoft president said the company was not trying to shirk responsibility for managing the new technology, as it was offering specific ideas and was committed to pursuing some of them, regardless of whether the government took action.
And he endorsed the idea, supported by Mr. Altman during his appearance before Congress, that a government agency should require companies to obtain licenses to deploy “highly capable” AI models.
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