Google shares closed in the red in the US Friday as the tech giant’s founder, Sergey Brin raised concerns about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its growing role in technology and even society in his annual letter to shareholders.
Brin acknowledged AI as the most significant development in his lifetime. However, he added that Google must remain responsible over its use of AI and consider how it effects humanity.
Google shares ended the US Friday session 1.14% lower at $1,031.45. The stock is currently in negative territory in after-hours activity.
AI powers Google developments
In his 2017 letter to shareholders that was published by Google’s parent company Alphabet, on Friday, Brin waxed lyrical about just how much the tech business has been able to achieve, thanks to AI.
“The new spring in artificial intelligence is the most significant development in computing in my lifetime,” Brin said.
“When we started the company, neural networks were a forgotten footnote in computer science; a remnant of the AI winter of the 1980’s. Yet today, this broad brush of technology has found an astounding number of applications,” he added.
Those applications include:
- The ability to understand images.
- Improvement of camera quality.
- Understand and produce speech for Google Home.
- Improve the efficiency of our data centres.
- Help doctors diagnose diseases.
With AI developments, comes responsibility
Even as Google and people around the world are benefitting from the way in which AI can change existing services and are essential in the development of others, Brin is mindful of the responsibility that comes with widespread use of AI.
“Every month, there are stunning new applications and transformative new techniques. In this sense, we are truly in a technology renaissance,” Brin said.
He added that amid that excitement, new questions are also being raised. How will AI effect employment, are all the new developments completely safe? Just two, among many others.
“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 said as he ended his note.