The rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised concerns over the increased concentration of power in Big Tech companies’ hands. A recent report from AI Now, a research institute at New York University, highlights the urgent need for scrutiny and regulation to address this growing issue.
The researchers argue that AI development is “foundationally reliant” on resources controlled by Big Tech, such as data and computer power. Furthermore, these tech giants have gained geopolitical importance by playing a central role in the U.S.-China race for AI supremacy. This has inadvertently linked the continued dominance of Big Tech with U.S. economic prowess, ultimately funneling more resources and political capital to these companies.
AI concentrating more power in Big Tech's hands, NYU researchers warn https://t.co/hH1FmcukpE
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 22, 2023
Sarah Myers West, managing director of AI Now and co-author of the report, emphasized the necessity of reform to fix a broken system moving towards a potentially dangerous situation with unrestricted AI development. She told Fox News Digital, “Because of this, any meaningful reform of AI will need to tackle Big Tech’s advantage in the market through strong competition and privacy regulations.”
The report suggests that the public, rather than the tech industry, should control the future of AI. To achieve this, regulators must step in and develop meaningful management tools to shape the trajectory of AI technologies. One recommendation is to enforce data minimization, ensuring companies collect no more data than necessary. Other suggestions include reforming antitrust laws to encourage competition and implementing specific regulations for large-scale general-purpose AI models like ChatGPT and BARD.
Notable figures like Twitter CEO and tech billionaire Elon Musk have echoed the need for stricter AI regulation. In a recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Musk stated, “I think there should be some government oversight because it is a danger to the public.”
Glenn Beck expresses concern over the rapid advancement of AI, warning that it could lead to misinterpretations with disastrous consequences. He suggests that AI-driven wars could be fought in seconds and that AI might misinterpret commands like “protect all humans.” Beck believes we worship technology, and to counteract this, he advises focusing on self-control, regulation, and relying more on human interactions rather than being solely dependent on technology.
However, opponents of regulation argue that AI development could make society more prosperous if regulators stay out of the way. Heritage Foundation economist Peter St. Onge highlighted the national security implications, suggesting that when it comes to the international AI race, American tech companies should be at the forefront rather than the Chinese Communist Party.
St. Onge argued that regulations often kill jobs and harm existing producers and companies. He said, “Tech is a river that makes us rich. We need to respect the fundamental economic freedoms that we always had.”
The debate surrounding AI and Big Tech’s increasing dominance is complex and multifaceted. With the potential risks posed by the unchecked power of Big Tech and AI’s rapid development, the need for scrutiny and informed public discourse has never been more critical.