Microsoft vice-chairman calls for human control over AI

Human control over AI has been the talk of the town as the new technology keeps on making rapid advancements. Brad Smith, Vice-Chairman of Microsoft has emerged as a staunch supporter of human control over AI. He emphasizes the critical need for human control over AI systems, highlighting the potential consequences of its unchecked proliferation. In this article, we delve into Brad Smith’s perspective on the weaponization of AI and the importance of safeguarding human control over this transformative technology.

1) The Dual Nature of AI

Brad Smith acknowledges that AI possesses a dual nature—it can serve as both a powerful tool and a potential weapon. This duality raises essential questions about how AI should be managed and regulated. Smith believes that, like any other technology, AI should be subject to oversight to prevent misuse.

2) Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure

One area where the need for human control over AI is particularly evident is in the realm of critical infrastructure. Smith underscores the importance of ensuring that AI systems responsible for critical infrastructure remain under human supervision. Whether it’s government agencies, the military, or organizations seeking to automate critical functions, Smith argues that humans must retain the ability to intervene, slow down, or deactivate AI systems when necessary.

3) The Role of Laws and Regulations

To achieve the goal of human control over AI, Brad Smith calls for the implementation of laws and regulations. Drawing parallels to safety measures in other domains, such as circuit breakers in electrical systems and emergency brakes on school buses, Smith asserts that similar safeguards are needed for AI. These measures would provide a means for humans to exercise control over AI, ensuring that it doesn’t operate unchecked.

4) AI as a Complement, Not a Replacement

Smith’s perspective on AI extends beyond its potential risks. He views AI as a valuable tool that enhances human capabilities. Contrary to the fear of AI replacing jobs, Smith believes it should be seen as a complement to human work, making tasks more efficient and informed.

5) AI in Warfare

Brad Smith, who can be rightfully called the major stakeholder when it comes to technological advancements, has shown his deepest concerns over the potential use of AI in warfare.  Rumors have been in place regarding the potential development of militarized AI technologies such as LAWS( Lethal Autonomous Weapon System). 

These AI-equipped systems could make decisions about combat and target selection autonomously. Smith firmly asserts that such technologies should not have the authority to make life-and-death decisions independently. Instead, he advocates for robust ethical considerations and oversight by governments in the development and deployment of AI in warfare.

6) Conclusion

In a world where AI is becoming increasingly integrated into various aspects of society, Brad Smith’s call for human control over this technology resonates as a crucial safeguard. His emphasis on laws and regulations to ensure AI remains a tool under human supervision reflects a commitment to responsible AI development. According to the vision of Smith, AI is there to help humans in performing their tasks with ease and more effectiveness rather than replace them. Only this will help in weaving a better future for human beings. 


  1. Who is Brad Smith, and why is his perspective on AI important?

Ans) Brad Smith is the president and vice-chairman of Microsoft. His perspective on AI is significant because he advocates for responsible and ethical AI use, emphasizing the need for human control.


  1. What is the dual nature of AI that Brad Smith mentions?

Ans) Brad Smith highlights that AI can serve both as a tool and a potential weapon, raising questions about its responsible management.


  1. Why does Brad Smith believe human control is essential for AI in critical infrastructure?

Ans) Smith argues that human control is necessary to intervene, slow down, or deactivate AI systems responsible for critical infrastructure, preventing potential disasters.


  1. How does Brad Smith view the role of AI in the workforce?

Ans) Smith sees AI as a complement to human work, enhancing efficiency and capabilities, rather than a replacement for jobs.


  1. What are Brad Smith’s concerns regarding AI in warfare?

Ans) Smith is concerned about the development of militarized AI technologies, such as lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS), and emphasizes the need for ethical considerations and government oversight.