When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about Elon Musk’s warnings about AI, he had a succinct answer: “I think Elon is exactly wrong.”
“He doesn’t understand the benefits that this technology will provide to making every human being smarter,” Schmidt said. “The fact of the matter is that AI and machine learning are so fundamentally good for humanity.”
He acknowledged that there are risks around how the technology might be misused, but he said they’re outweighed by the benefits: “The example I would offer is, would you not invent the telephone because of the possible misuse of the telephone by evil people? No, you would build the telephone and you would try to find a way to police the misuse of the telephone.”
Schmidt, who has pushed back in the pastagainst AI-related concerns from Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking, was interviewed on-stage today at the VivaTech conference in Paris.
While he stepped down as executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet in December, Schmidt remains involved as a technical advisor, and he said today that his work is now focused on new applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence