By: Brad Smith (Microsoft On The Issues)
“Don’t ask what computers can do, ask what they should do.”
That is the title of the chapter on AI and ethics in a book I coauthored with Carol Ann Browne in 2019. At the time, we wrote that “this may be one of the defining questions of our generation.” Four years later, the question has seized center stage not just in the world’s capitals, but around many dinner tables.
As people use or hear about the power of OpenAI’s GPT-4 foundation model, they are often surprised or even astounded. Many are enthused or even excited. Some are concerned or even frightened. What has become clear to almost everyone is something we noted four years ago—we are the first generation in the history of humanity to create machines that can make decisions that previously could only be made by people.
Countries around the world are asking common questions. How can we use this new technology to solve our problems? How do we avoid or manage new problems it might create? How do we control technology that is so powerful? These questions call not only for broad and thoughtful conversation, but decisive and effective action…