Technology will revolutionise the creative thinking process, according to will.i.am, musician, founder and CEO, FYI. He was speaking on a panel titled Accelerating Tech: The New Frontier for Policymaking on Day 1 of the World Government Summit (WSG).
“If you are hypercreative, you are looking for a banter partner to share ideas with and improve your ideas every once in a while, you get frustrated,” he said. “But what I have found with FYI and generative AI is that there is no fatigue, no attitude, no compromise in the back-and-forth ping-pong banter to materialise the idea. It is going liberate [and] supercharge every single creative.”
Advertised as a productivity tool for creatives, FYI uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help creative industry professionals to build projects, make calls and message each other.
Accompanying will.i.am on the panel was Sujay Jaswa, Founder and Managing Partner of WndrCo and Doron Avni, Google VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy Emerging Markets.
Doron spoke about how Google has been working in collaboration with governments to use AI to save lives. "We have a flood forecasting tool,” he said. “[It] uses very complex AI tools to forecast floods but it doesn’t stop there. We are sending text messages to people on the ground who may be affected. Two years ago, we sent over 100 million such text messages, and really saving people’s lives."
He also mentioned how Bard, Google's experimental conversational AI service that is expected to rival ChatGPT, is going to be a gamechanger. “Bard [is] a tool that combines the wealth of the world’s information on the one hand with the creativity of large language modules.” According to him, the technology is being sent to trusted testers and will soon be available on a larger scale.
However, Doron admitted that regulating AI was of extreme importance. “AI comes with risks,” he said. “It is the joint responsibility of governments and companies to work together. As our CEO Sundar Pichai said AI is too important not be regulated.”
Will.i.am opened up about his biggest fear in terms of AI misuse. “I fear the day I will get a call from something that looks like my mom,” he said. “It knows everything that my mom knows about me and it’s not my mom.”
He also called on companies in the tech and AI industry to have a constitution or bill of rights. “Everyone working in AI should sign that,” he said. “Today with companies and their business models that abuse data strip away people’s civil liberties and privacy. If we are barely dealing with fake news, imagine fake everything. We need to put serious question marks around that. What type of future are we walking into if we are not careful?”
Sujay said that he believed that entrepreneurship with support from the government should be the way forward to deal with challenges.
“All of us have become obsessed about climate change and sustainability,” he said. “Despite so much effort around the world having gone into it, the person that is most responsible is not a politician for driving us forward. It is Elon Musk. It wasn’t without help from the government. The entire transportation industry is electrifying because of one company. That company wouldn’t exist without massive government subsidies. There is this intersection between policy and incentivising great entrepreneurs that if you combine the two, you get magic.”
Will.i.am also encouraged more people from diverse backgrounds to get into coding and training algorithm to overcome algorithmic bias. “We want people of colour to train algorithm, write algorithm, train data,” he said. “We can’t depend on people that understand your sensitivity but who don’t understand the culture that you come from”.
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