How should governments respond to the fast-moving field of artificial intelligence?
Robustly and collaboratively, said Joanna Shields, CEO of Benevolent AI, a healthcare start-up, and an alum of Google, Facebook and the British government—for whom she served as UK Minister of Internet of Safety and Security and as an Advisor of Digital Economy—speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in London Monday afternoon.
Shields, a Silicon Valley veteran who became skeptical of the technology-will-change-the-world narrative during her decades in the field said AI—and the implications it has for society—is too big for any one country, company, or NGO to take on alone.
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“The digital revolution was a dress rehearsal for what’s to come,” said Shields, who cites issues like fake news and filter bubbles as the unanticipated ills of social media. “AI will change our lives in ways that we don’t truly understand.”
She noted that previously, humans “have always been the creators of technology.” With AI, “the technology is so powerful that it create itself.” While she saluted Google’s recent efforts to set principles and policy around how the company will and will not use artificial intelligence, she said it’s not enough for a single company to make such commitments. She recommends tech companies, NGOs, and governments come together on global standards for the technology the same way they have with the WeProtect Global Alliance, an international effort to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online.