Amazon and Meta: AI Concerns Are Overblown

Executives at Amazon and Meta have stated that some concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) are exaggerated and that the European Union’s (EU) new comprehensive AI regulations are stifling innovation.

These statements came after the EU gave its final approval to the AI Act, as technology leaders gathered in Paris for the annual “VivaTech” conference.

This first-of-its-kind law is set to reshape how companies and other organizations in Europe use AI in everything from healthcare decisions to public safety.

The law imposes a broad ban on using the technology in ways some companies deem unacceptable, and the European regulations also establish new disclosure obligations for large AI companies, requiring more transparency about high-risk AI uses, such as education and employment.

CEOs’ Opinions

For Yann LeCun, head of AI at Meta, the big question about the new law is whether AI research and development should be regulated at all.

LeCun, widely known as one of the godfathers of AI, does not agree with fears that AI could soon surpass human intelligence.

Elon Musk claims that AI will take over all our jobs, but he doesn’t think it will happen soon, nor will it be that dramatic.

He added that AI systems might become smarter in the future, but they will then be designed with appropriate safeguards. He compared trying to figure out how to make future super-intelligent AI systems safe to asking in 1925 how to make jet transport safe, before jets had even been invented.

Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer at Amazon, said that regulating AI could stifle innovation in some areas.

He said that when thinking about risks, regulators should consider applying new technology to healthcare and financial services differently than its use for summarizing meetings.

He continued that there are many areas where the risks are very low, and innovation should be allowed to flourish, while managing risks uniquely in areas where errors could have a greater impact on people’s lives.

He emphasized that Amazon welcomes regulation and aligns with regulators on their general goals but warned the EU against over-regulating AI.

He added that it is essential to ensure that the regulatory requirements are feasible for all companies in Europe, not just large ones, stating: “We need to make sure innovation continues and that it doesn’t just come from outside Europe.”

He concluded by saying, “We already have a very long history in Europe of underinvestment in research and development.”

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