Microsoft’s CSO, Eric Horvitz, appears to be pondering both about the potentials as well as concerns and risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Microsoft: CSO publishes essay in favor of AI and signs paper “against” it
These days, Eric Horvitz, CSO of Microsoft, published a blog post titled “AI Anthology – Reflections on AI and the Future of Human Prosperity.”
It is an essay featuring as many as 20 experts in the field who, spanning the fields of economics, business, education, engineering, health, history, law, mathematics, medicine, psychology and science, have explored the capabilities of GPT-4 and provided their thoughts.
Horvitz’s goal is to share the potential of AI that could contribute to human prosperity on the one hand, but also the risks and concerns on the other.
And indeed, on the same day, Horvitz also appeared in the list of signatories of another paper that is titled:
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
The paper was published by the Center for AI Safety and the signatories include several prominent names such as Yann LeCun of Meta and Andrew Ng, co-founder of Google Brain.
So while Horvitz enthusiastically delves into AI from an angle of prosperity for humanity, he also includes himself among those who view the emerging technology as a risk to humanity’s extinction.
Microsoft and the interest in AI
Clearly, Microsoft’s CSO tries to be at the forefront when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, both good and bad.
In his blog post, Horvitz described his amazement at the capabilities of OpenAI’s GPT-4 when he had access to it in 2022, before it was launched to the public.
Horvitz had been fascinated by GPT-4’s abilities to interpret his intentions and provide sophisticated responses to many of his requests.
In general, Microsoft’s interest in ChatGPT was intensified earlier this year when news had been revealed that the tech giant wanted to invest $10 billion to acquire 49% of the OpenAI LP company.
Other interests: the Canton Network Blockchain
Beyond Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft has appeared on the list of big companies along with Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, S&P Global, Moody’s, and others who have joined together to support the launch of Canton Network, the blockchain that simplifies financial markets.
The big companies have an interest in Canton Network, which aims to create a decentralized infrastructure to make transactions more efficient by linking financial systems together and enabling them to operate in a synchronized manner.
The idea is to create a “network of networks,” thus including previously isolated systems in financial markets, to interact with the appropriate governance, privacy, permissions and controls required for highly regulated industries.