Google CEO Sundar Pichai believes artificial intelligence could have “more profound” implications for humanity than electricity or fire, according to recent comments. Pichai also warned that the development of artificial intelligence could pose as much risk as that of fire if its potential is not harnessed correctly.

“AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on,” Pichai said in an interview with MSNBC and Recode, set to air on Friday, January 26. “It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.” Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now Pichai went on to warn of the potential dangers associated with developing advanced AI, saying that developers need to learn to harness its benefits in the same way humanity did with fire.

“My point is AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it,” Pichai said. “It’s fair to be worried about it—I wouldn’t say we’re just being optimistic about it— we want to be thoughtful about it.

AI holds the potential for some of the biggest advances we’re going to see. “Whenever I see the news of a young person dying of cancer, you realize AI is going to play a role in solving that in the future.

So I think we owe it to make progress too.” Google has invested heavily in artificial intelligence research, having acquired the London-based startup DeepMind for £300 million in 2014. DeepMind is often cited by AI experts and academics as the leading pioneer in AI research for its work in developing an algorithm capable of beating human champions at the ancient boardgame Go, as well as its work with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Read more from…

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