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Google CEO Calls for Government Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

Visitors check their phones behind the screen advertising facial recognition software during Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) at the National Convention in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai called for government regulation of artificial intelligence technology on Monday.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. The question is how best to approach this,” Pichai told an audience at a conference in Brussels.

The U.S. and European nations are currently attempting to develop regulatory policy for artificial intelligence. The U.S. has taken a more hands-off approach than the E.U. thus far but Pichai called for “international alignment” regarding the issue.

“While AI promises enormous benefits for Europe and the world, there are real concerns about the potential negative consequences of AI,” he said.

Among the uses of artificial intelligence software are facial recognition tools, which have been systematically implemented by China throughout the country’s cities. Citizens can now board planes and pay for merchandise in some stores via facial scan, and new purchasers of phone services are now required to complete a facial recognition process. China has also used facial recognition to further the mass surveillance and detention of Muslim citizens of the western Xinjiang province.

On January 9 the U.S. unveiled a set of regulations on artificial intelligence meant to leave room for innovation in the field, which is also behind the development of driverless cars.

“Europe and our allies should avoid heavy handed innovation-killing models, and instead consider a similar regulatory approach,” the White House said in a statement regarding its approach to artificial intelligence.

“America is known throughout the world for our innovation, for our creative spirit and it is part of our inter-competitiveness, and so we want to foster innovation,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told Politico in an interview. “But there are also legitimate public concerns expressed about safety, security and privacy.”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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