Google CEO Eric Emerson Schmidt
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has urged companies exploring AI technologies to ensure that it is used for good, and not to harm people. Wikimedia Commons

Former Google CEO Eric Emerson Schmidt has raised concerns about the use of AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. Schmidt urged companies carrying out AI research to ensure that they "do not harm, but help." Google previously used the phrase "don't be evil" as its corporate code of conduct and motto.

However, the code of conduct has now been updated as AI experts urge the American tech giant to discontinue an autonomous weapons project. Aside from the experts, over 3,100 Google employees signed an open letter last month protesting the company's participation in a Pentagon program dubbed Project Maven.

Should we be worried about artificial intelligence?

Schmidt told ABC News that he is struggling to keep tabs on the use of AI technology. Moreover, the former head of Google said he believes that tech companies will have to ensure that AI is used for good, not evil. It is no secret that AI can be easily exploited. For instance, cybercriminals have started using AI chatbots to create credible-looking phishing emails.

While the UK government is sparing no effort to regulate AI, financial and security risk assessment firm Kroll also urged tech companies to prioritise cyber protection. Handing control over to AI could turn out to be a risk since it lacks a human being's common sense and the ability to think rationally. "We, collectively, in our industry face a reckoning of, how do we want to make sure this stuff doesn't harm but just helps?" Schmidt noted.

He gave an example of how social media platforms have been used to promote misinformation during the election and have even led to people's deaths. Schmidt pointed out that social media wasn't created to harm people, but it did. Likewise, he thinks AI technology could end up harming people too, and it is imperative for us to figure out how to prevent that.

Furthermore, the former Google executive said that AI can be used to improve the health and education department. Schmidt also thinks the technology could come in handy for improving access to resources. For example, people can hire AI tutors that can teach in all global languages.

AI technology is quite a challenging topic

Schmidt also believes there is a possibility that the students might fall in love with AI tutors. The tech can also be used to manipulate people's lives, the way they think, and even what they choose. Overall, AI can affect how democracies work, Schmidt explained. He also raised a few new points that highlight earlier warnings about AI tech.

With people trying new ways to explore AI chatbots like ChatGPT, OpenAI is sparing no effort to stop people from exploiting its AI bots for nefarious purposes. However, there are several loopholes and ways to get ChatGPT to answer even banned questions. As if that weren't enough, there's an evil version of ChatGPT dubbed DAN, which has no such restrictions.

In fact, YouTuber Enderman was recently able to manipulate ChatGPT to create Windows 95 activation keys. It is worth mentioning here that AI isn't authorised to do so directly. While it is still unclear what AI technology has in store for us, some governments are limiting the use of AI bots. According to a report by CNBC, Italy is the first Western country to ban OpenAI's ChatGP.

Likewise, other governments have come up with their rules for AI tech. To those unaware, Generative AI alludes to a set of AI technologies that utilises information provided by a user to generate new content. This tech is more advanced than previous versions of AI since it is based on LLMs (large language models). LLMs are trained on huge quantities of data.

Schmidt believes companies dabbling in AI technology should make sure that the tech is used responsibly and for people's good.