Ex Google CEO’s Call for UN Organization Focused on Artificial Intelligence Would Be a “Historic Mistake”

Photo Credit: Getty

At a forum on Artificial Intelligence in Washington today, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt endorsed the idea of an international body like the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focused on artificial intelligence (AI). Schmidt said the proposed organization would “feed accurate information to policymakers” as a basis for regulatory decisions.

CEI senior fellow Dr. James Broughel said:

“Eric Schmidt argues that a global body akin to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should be created to ‘feed accurate information to policymakers’ on the risks of artificial intelligence. However, the IPCC has been widely criticized for assessment reports that present an overly pessimistic view of climate change and that emphasize risks while downplaying uncertainties and any positive trends. More generally, official statements from international bodies like the IPCC tend to encourage groupthink and conformity, putting pressure on scientists to conform to artificial consensuses and marginalizing skeptical perspectives. Given the profound importance of innovation to societal progress, creating an IPCC for AI would be a historic mistake.”

Director of CEI’s Center for Technology and Innovation Jessica Melugin said:

““Visionaries working in AI development are surely experts in their technical field, but they are woefully unfamiliar with the limits, perils and history of regulation. Whether there is or is not an existential threat from AI in the future, the solution is unlikely to be global regulation. Not only does it rarely achieve its goals (see the IPCC itself for a good example of failure), it also sacrifices too much societal benefit by overemphasizing the risks and underestimating progress, adaptability and human ingenuity.”

More from CEI: