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UN chief António Guterres warns of ‘unintended consequences’ of AI


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, urging major tech companies to be cautious in their development of AI.

Guterres expressed worries about the potential negative effects of unregulated generative AI development and criticized companies for prioritizing profits over human rights.

He stressed the need for global cooperation to oversee generative AI and highlighted the growing inequality it could worsen, citing concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund.

When discussing the theme of the World Economic Forum’s 2024 annual meeting, Guterres emphasized the importance of tackling increasing division, economic challenges, climate crisis, and the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence.

UN chief Guterres’ statements on AI

Guterres cautioned that the unrestricted use of generative AI poses risks of unintended consequences and increased inequality. He called for a global strategy to address the challenges posed by AI and climate change.

Reactions from tech companies

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed support for establishing standards and regulations for AI technology, advocating for global coordination. However, the EU has raised antitrust concerns related to Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that AI could impact nearly 40% of global jobs, potentially widening inequality. Elon Musk echoed similar concerns, foreseeing a point where AI could replace the need for human jobs.

Featured Image: Canva / World Economic Forum / European Parliament

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