“A high-ranking Google executive emphasized the critical importance of getting Artificial Intelligence (AI) right, as the technology holds vast potential for transformative advancements across various industries.

Matt Brittin, the President of Google for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, highlighted the significance of AI, underscoring its potential for groundbreaking innovations.

His remarks came as Google entered into a collaborative research partnership with the University of Cambridge, providing funding for the institution’s newly established Center for Human-Inspired AI. This long-term agreement will center on research areas such as robotics, healthcare, and climate change.

This partnership coincides with the UK’s AI safety summit at Bletchley Park, where industry leaders are expected to gather to discuss the future of AI and potential regulatory frameworks in light of the technology’s rapid progress.

Matt Brittin stressed that if AI is harnessed effectively, it can lead to significant advancements in various sectors, including healthcare, clean energy, and education, enabling a society where everyone can access intelligent tools and opportunities.

Zoubin Ghahramani, the Vice President of Research at Google Deep Mind and a professor of information engineering at Cambridge University, pointed out that the research conducted at the new center could contribute to addressing climate-related challenges.
For instance, AI tools have been employed to optimize flight paths, reducing the environmental impact of air travel.

Matt Brittin further highlighted Google’s commitment to sustainability, citing the company’s achievements in reducing energy consumption and costs in its data centers.

He mentioned Google’s efforts to become carbon neutral and transition to renewable energy sources. Additionally, he pointed to global initiatives such as optimizing traffic lights and using Google Maps for eco-friendly navigation.

However, some critics have expressed concerns that the rapid growth of the AI industry, supported by Google, is contributing to environmental damage, likening it to an expansive extractive industry.

A recent study suggested that the sector’s energy consumption could rival that of a small country, prompting calls for AI to be used judiciously and only where absolutely necessary.”

Last Updated: 18 October 2023