On the next episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special,” former Google CEO Eric Schmidt discusses what he describes as the coming “network of artificial intelligence system control,” its possible advantages and pitfalls, and warns that mankind must change our philosophy to deal with its impact on humanity.
“Our world will be surrounded by digital intelligences, and these intelligences are partially like humans, and they’ll make things more efficient. They’ll make new discoveries,” said Schmidt. “They’ll help educate our children. They’ll discover new things. We can talk to them. They’ll provide companionship. They’ll also change the way we think about war and our own identity.”
Schmidt, a Democrat and billionaire, recently co-authored a book with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and MIT’s Daniel Huttenlocher titled, “The Age of AI And Our Human Future.” He told Shapiro that the trio wrote the book “to have a philosophical discussion about what we’re doing to humans with this technology.”
“If you look at what happened with social media, people like myself who helped build these systems had no idea that they would be used by, for example, the Russians to try to change our elections, or the addictive behavior would drive people crazy,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t know that this would have happened. … But this time, these tools are much more powerful. They are much more capable of, for example, driving you crazy, making you addicted, and also educating you and making you more powerful.”
Schmidt predicted that the world is about to enter “a new epoch of human experience,” comparing the idea to evolving from the primitive Dark Ages to the Age of Reason.
Partial transcript as follows:
Ben Shapiro: I want to talk to you about what, exactly, these technologies are going to look like on a more practical level. You talk about them teaching your kids, or you talk about them educating you, creating new innovations. How fast are we going to get to this sort of very sophisticated AI, because right now, one of the limitations on AI is that it doesn’t seem to be capable of the sort of mass innovation that humans are capable of at this point. But you’re talking about essentially machines being able to create new machines, which is a different sort of thing. How is humanity going to deal with that, and what does that mean for the future of, say, work and job creation?
Eric Schmidt: We don’t really know. There is a dispute, even among the authors, on how quickly this stuff will happen. I would say 15 years. Others would say 25 years. Does it really matter? There is so much investment in this space that I can tell you that it’s going to happen in some form, and it will happen more quickly than we think. And we’re not prepared for it. When I say we’re not prepared for it, we’re not prepared for the new companies, the impact on the development of children. How do you raise a child where the child’s best friend is not human? … Is that okay? That’s a really significant change in human existence, which is being built now in various forms. Do we really want to put our kids through that? I’m not sure. But I want to have the debate about it.
Schmidt went on to address the possibility of AI technology resulting in mass unemployment, casting doubt that innovation would collectively eliminate meaning and jobs.
“Some of these jobs will go away, but they are going away because the markets are getting more efficient,” he said. “I’m a capitalist. Capitalism makes [the] market more efficient. More efficient markets produce different jobs in a larger space.”
“There will be lots of jobs, but AI will displace a lot of current jobs,” Schmidt continued. “You’re going to see people pushed into more human roles, and there will be lots of them.”
In pursuit of individual freedom, Schmidt estimated that up to 20% of people might become overwhelmed by the network of AI system control, revolt against the digital world and the influence it has over them, detach from it, and become “naturalists.”
“The AI system is going to get so good that it will be able to generate addiction for you that is so precise, that you’ll be consumed by it,” Schmidt predicted. “Why do I know this? Because it’s reproducible. We collectively as the tech industry can see what you care about, and give you more and more and more and more.”
Schmidt also warned of a new proliferation of potential problems associated with what is to come. For example, he noted that China has been “over-investing” in sophisticated AI systems that are not based on Western values of democracy and free speech, and he spoke of the possibility of American technology companies being regulated by Europe.
This episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special” will be available to Daily Wire users at midnight Central Time.