Ex-Google CEO Says AI Systems Will Be Heavily Guarded in Future

The former Google chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt, has predicted that in the future, governments would exert strict control over “compelling” AI systems.

Both the United States and China will probably have a small number of potent computers in the not-too-distant future. Schmidt said these computers will have the ability to independently create new inventions, over and beyond what we are comfortable sharing with our citizens or competitors.

Schmidt said they will be located in a military facility, fueled by a nuclear energy source, and protected by barbed wire and machine guns.

After serving as chairman and chief executive officer of Google from 2001 to 2011, Schmidt handed over the reins to Larry Page, Google’s co-founder. From that point until his departure in early 2020, he served as the search giant’s executive chairman and technical advisor.

The 69-year-old has been researching the societal impacts of AI and has developed a profound interest in the technology ever since.

Together with the late Henry Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of computer science at MIT, he wrote “The Age of AI.” He has also invested in artificial intelligence firms like Anthropic, which Amazon backs. The book thoroughly examines the possible advantages and disadvantages of AI.

The fierce rivalry among countries to remain ahead in the AI race makes Schmidt’s prognosis a possibility, even if it seems implausible now.

For instance, Nvidia and other artificial intelligence chip manufacturers have had their sales curbed as a consequence of U.S. efforts to tighten their grip on technology exports to China.

In a similar vein, China has been making efforts to lessen its reliance on American-made semiconductors. Several Chinese government agencies have reportedly asked domestic tech companies like Alibaba and ByteDance (parent of TikTok) to buy artificial intelligence chips made in China.

There are many battlegrounds ahead, not limited to information, food, water, space exploration, weaponry, and AI.