Tech mogul and self-proclaimed philanthropist Bill Gates has acknowledged the potential existential threat that Artificial Intelligence (AI) poses while simultaneously dismissing concerns about it. Unfazed by AI’s rapid and unchecked growth, Gates gave a chillingly offhand response when confronted with the risk of this powerful tool falling into the wrong hands.
During an ABC News interview, Gates shared his fears about the speed of AI development, calling it a “pretty fundamental” game-changing technology. Yet, he was unwavering in his stance that work on the new technology should not be halted. His rationale was alarmingly dismissive: “We’re all scared a bad guy could grab it. If you just pause the good guys, and you don’t pause everyone else, you’re probably hurting yourself.”
Bill Gates on AI: “We’re all scared that a bad guy could grab it.”
Yeah we’re all scared of you grabbing it too, Bill.‼️‼️😡 pic.twitter.com/lN6AojqGws
— Andy Greensky (@AndyGreensky) May 8, 2023
This dismissal of such a significant issue reflects a worrying trend. Government bodies are now interested in regulating AI, similar to their push for extreme new government powers through acts like the RESTRICT Act (Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act). This act aims to control information and communications technology under the guise of national security, much like how AI is being developed under the pretext of progress.
The RESTRICT Act clearly indicates the government’s fear of losing control over the flow of information. With the rise of the internet and decentralized media, it’s become increasingly challenging for the state to regulate what information reaches the public. The Act is the state’s desperate attempt to regain control, an act of self-preservation in the face of an increasingly aware and skeptical populace.
But herein lies the danger. Hastily enacted federal regulations, while appearing protective, give the government an alarming amount of power. For example, the RESTRICT Act allows the Secretary of Commerce, an unelected official with minimal oversight, to determine what poses an “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security. This unchecked power could easily be misused to censor any media deemed adversarial, leading to an alarming erosion of free speech and thought.
Americans must remain vigilant and question the motives of those in power, from tech magnates like Gates to government bodies seeking to control the free flow of uncensored information. The future of our society depends on our ability to recognize and respond to these threats. As concerned citizens, we must challenge this encroachment on our liberties and demand transparency and accountability from those who wield such immense power.