Google CEO Sundar Pichai compares AI to climate change at APEC CEO Summit

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks in conversation with Emily Chang during the APEC CEO Summit at Moscone West on November 16, 2023 in San Francisco, California. The APEC summit is being held in San Francisco and runs through November 17.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said artificial intelligence is like climate change in that it will proliferate worldwide, and that people across the globe share a responsibility to create guardrails.

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit in San Francisco on Thursday, Pichai was asked by Bloomberg’s Emily Chang how to get to a global consensus on “smart AI regulation.”

Pichai said AI “will proliferate” and that “AI advances will get out to all the countries and so it’s naturally the kind of technology that — I don’t think there’s any unilateral safety to be had.”

Should AI could go wrong in one country, he said, it could impact other countries, making it difficult to regulate locally.

“In some ways, it’s like climate change and the planet,” Pichai said. “We all share a planet. I think that’s true for AI.” That’s why “you have to start building the frameworks globally,” he added.

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Pichai said countries have a shared responsibility to build global frameworks — something he’s warned about in recent months. He said he sees some signs of progress for discussions, including at the G7 Summit in Japan earlier this year. There was also yesterday’s agreement between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who vowed to start a dialogue around the topic of AI.

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