Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ominously signaled that he’s giddy about the alleged opportunities to supposedly “retool” humanity with artificial intelligence technologies. Yikes.
Leading up to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s Tuesday testimony before Congress, NBC’sToday discussed AI and its implications in an interview with Nadella, airing May 16. “[T]here is an opportunity for us to retool ourselves with new tools,” Nadella enthused.
CNBC Squawk Box co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Nadella how AI will change education. “What if an AI tutor could engage a student and really help them get the concepts,” Nadella enthusiastically said.
Nadella also praised AI’s ability to revolutionize education. Today then promoted the “breathtaking” effects of AI, while acknowledging that the powerful tech could indeed pose problems. Neither NBC nor Nadella, however, bothered referring to the risks of mass censorship through AI.
“Education today is sort of intimidating,” Nadella opined to Sorkin. He claimed humanity will still do critical thinking without AI, but then came the kicker: “[T]here is an opportunity for us to retool ourselves with new tools.” He urged, “Kids should do all the things that now allow us to do with this augmented tool, and things like critical reasoning, being able to be more creative with the machine, to be able to sort of not be afraid of learning new things.” But Microsoft is anti-free speech, with a record of censorship on its LinkedIn platform, and the threats of AI being misused cannot be ignored.
“If recent history concerning the totalitarian nature of Big Tech has taught us anything, it’s that we should be even more wary of tech companies that could use artificial intelligence to automate censorship on a greater scale and with far more efficiency than previously imagined,” stated MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “And that’s even more true when the new tech is aimed at the most vulnerable among us — children.”
Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie later asked Sorkin about the line between profit and caution with AI. Sorkin began by citing leftist billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. “Bill Gates is now saying this is the most transformational thing he has seen literally basically since he started in the business, which is kind of unbelievable.”
There are lots of people saying slow down on AI, Sorkin acknowledged, but “for better or worse, I think the train is leaving the station, and the question is—what kind of guardrails can you put around it?” AI regulation could be difficult, he predicted. “The sad part is, it’s unclear whether you can get those guardrails around it fast enough or ever.”
Co-anchor Hoda Kotb asked if big companies can “police themselves” on AI. Sorkin ludicrously responded by propping up Microsoft and leftist Big Tech giant Google as responsible companies. He even seemed to support censorship of some speech by AI.
“The good news is, actually, that Microsoft and Google/Alphabet have actually policed their tools to some degree…they are trying to prevent it from being racist, for example…but it’s not just a worry about the big ones,” Sorkin said. He quickly moved on from the serious question of how untrustworthy Big Tech will be held accountable.
Even those who use AI don’t understand everything about how it works or malfunctions, Sorkin did admit. Guthrie anxiously described the bad rush to implement AI as having “opened the gates, unleashed this wild animal, and [they] have no idea what it can do.” AI can be “breathtaking,” though, Sorkin countered. AI can release “great things,” but also “a lot of things that are going to make us very uncomfortable.”
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