Reaffirming Google’s commitment to an ‘AI first’ world, Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google, drew parallels between artificial intelligence (AI) and other important discoveries for humans, such as fire and electricity.
In conversation with MSNBC’s Ari Melber and Recode’s Kara Swisher on a new show titled Revolution: Google and YouTube Changing the World, a joint effort between the two media houses, Pichai opined that AI is one of the things that humanity is extensively working on and compared its importance to that of man’s greatest discoveries.
“AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It’s more profound than — I don’t know — electricity or fire,” said the Google CEO.
On Swisher’s joking interjection to the statement that fire was “pretty good”, Pichai replied with a smile, “Well it kills people too. We have learnt to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we had to overcome its downsides too.”
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Pichai admitted that while there are concerns surrounding AI, the potential that the technology holds in driving developments in areas such as finding cures for cancer and so on is tremendous. “It’s fair to be worried about AI. I wouldn’t say that we are just being optimistic about it. We want to be thoughtful about it. AI holds the potential for some of the biggest advances we are going see.” he said.
He also added that it is important to adopt the technological headway and said, “History shows that countries that pull back don’t do well with chance. So you have to embrace the change.”
The show will also feature YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.