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Big Tech wants to govern AI not with humanity, but on its behalf
By Bart de Witte  |  Oct 17, 2023
Big Tech wants to govern AI not with humanity, but on its behalf
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As regards AI governance, Big Tech is likely to prioritize its own interests over those of humanity. Bart de Witte, an expert on digital transformation in healthcare and founder of Berlin-based non-profit HIPPO AI, warns of thus setting a wolf to watch over the flock.

BERLIN - The United Nations recently hosted a riveting discussion titled Governing AI for Humanity. Amandeep Singh Gill - the UN Secretary General’s envoy on technology and someone who is no stranger to debates on tech safety - spearheaded the session. If his name rings a bell, it is probably because he once advocated regulating killer robots. 

The seminar was filled with diverse voices, but one viewpoint that particularly stood out - and not necessarily in a good way - was that of Mustafa Suleyman, tech entrepreneur and co-founder of DeepMind Technologies (which Google bought). For those who may not recall, while at Google’s DeepMind Suleyman faced a series of accusations, and ended up relieved of some of his management responsibilities following complaints he bullied subordinates. These were not baseless accusations, either. Suleyman openly acknowledged them, admitting in a later interview that "I really screwed up.” The hurt he caused his colleagues was evident, and he expressed remorse for his actions. His departure from DeepMind in 2019 came under the shadow of this investigation, which was unrelated to other complaints. In his own words, Suleyman described his behavior as “very demanding and pretty relentless.”

This is not a flashback to his time at DeepMind, but a deeper dive into his latest sentiments on AI governance. Suleyman's take on AI was - to put it mildly - unorthodox. Over the past few weeks, he has been emphasizing that "what's coming is far more dramatic than most people realize," and reiterated this sentiment at the event. He painted a future where Big Tech companies - like the ones he has been a part of - should have a leading role in AI's regulatory processes.


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