“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 co-authored 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 have used or heard about the power of OpenAI’s GPT-4 foundation model, they have often been surprised or even astounded. Many have been enthused or even excited. Some have been 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. This paper offers some of our ideas and suggestions as a company.
These suggestions build on the lessons we’ve been learning based on the work we’ve been doing for several years. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set us on a clear course when he wrote in 2016 that, “Perhaps the most productive debate we can have isn’t one of good versus evil: The debate should be about the values instilled in the people and institutions creating this technology.”
Since that time, we’ve defined, published, and implemented ethical principles to guide our work. And we’ve built out constantly improving engineering and governance systems to put these principles into practice. Today, we have nearly 350 people working on responsible AI at Microsoft, helping us implement best practices for building safe, secure, and transparent AI systems designed to benefit society.
Source: Microsoft Blog
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