Microsoft President Brad Smith recently delivered a speech in Washington, highlighting his biggest concern surrounding artificial intelligence (AI): deep fakes. He emphasized the need to regulate AI to address the growing threat of realistic but false content generated by AI, which can be exploited for nefarious purposes. Smith’s remarks shed light on the importance of protecting against the alteration of legitimate content, especially concerning foreign cyber influence operations.
Deep Fakes and Foreign Cyber Influence Operations
Deep fakes, the creation of manipulated content that appears genuine, have become a significant challenge in the era of AI. In his speech, Smith emphasized the need to combat deep fakes and specifically addressed the activities of foreign entities such as the Russian government, Chinese actors, and Iranians. These nations have already engaged in cyber influence operations that exploit the potential of AI. Smith stressed the importance of safeguarding against the intentional deception and fraud perpetrated through the use of AI-altered content.
Licensing and Export Controls for Critical AI
To mitigate the risks associated with AI, Smith called for licensing for the most critical forms of AI. He emphasized the obligations of AI developers to protect security, physical security, cybersecurity, and national security. Smith highlighted the necessity of evolving export controls to prevent the theft and misuse of AI models that could violate a country’s export control requirements. These measures aim to ensure responsible and secure usage of AI technologies.
The Urgency for AI Regulation
Lawmakers in Washington have faced challenges in formulating appropriate regulations for AI. The rapid proliferation of AI technologies, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has prompted the need for comprehensive and effective guidelines. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, stressed the importance of AI regulation in protecting election integrity during his recent appearance before a Senate panel. Altman called for global cooperation and incentives for safety compliance, advocating for a collaborative approach to address the risks associated with AI.
Accountability and Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure
Brad Smith further emphasized the importance of accountability in AI development. He urged lawmakers to implement safety brakes on AI systems used to control critical infrastructure such as the electric grid and water supply. Smith emphasized the significance of maintaining human control to ensure the security and reliability of essential services. Additionally, he proposed the implementation of a “Know Your Customer”-style system to monitor AI developers, enabling transparency and public awareness regarding the content generated by AI, thereby aiding in the identification of faked videos.
As AI continues to advance, the issue of deep fakes and the associated risks demand immediate attention. Microsoft President Brad Smith’s concerns about deep fakes reflect the urgent need for AI regulation. Licensing, export controls, accountability, and safety measures are crucial to protecting individuals and critical infrastructure from the potential misuse of AI technologies. It is essential for lawmakers, industry leaders, and global stakeholders to collaborate and develop comprehensive frameworks that strike a balance between technological innovation and safeguarding against the adverse impacts of AI.