The future of AI seems bright, but developments in the field need to be handled with great care and responsibility, warns Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.
Beginning his annual Founders' letter with a quote from Charles Dicken's "A Tale of Two Cities", Alphabet's President and Google's Co-founder wrote: "The new spring in AI is the most significant development in computing in my lifetime. Every month, there are stunning new applications and transformative new techniques. But such powerful tools also bring with them new questions and responsibilities."
It's the best of times, it's the worst of times, indeed, as AI permeates out day-to-day lives even deeper, raising numerous questions regarding ethics and technology, and Brin himself seems cautiously optimistic about the future of AI: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Google is currently harnessing the power of AI to deliver a number of very important (and lucrative) services and experiences, including Google Translate's knowledge in over 100 languages, Google Image Search, Google Lens, enable Waymo self-driving cars to recognize and distinguish objects safely, significantly improve sound and camera quality in smartphones, and even help diagnose diseases and discover entirely new planetary systems.
All this considered, Brin says that "we are truly in a technology renaissance, an exciting time where we can see applications across nearly every segment of modern society,"
but he remains cautious about the possible mishandling of the powerful tech. "While I am optimistic about the potential to bring technology to bear on the greatest problems in the world, we are on a path that we must tread with deep responsibility, care, and humility."
Brin goes on to reassure users that there is some serious consideration and research being put into AI at Google and other leading companies, with experts looking into everything from "sci-fi style sentience to the more near-term questions such as validating the performance of self-driving cars."