The New StatesmanThe New Statesman

Why Big Tech pretends AI is dangerous

By Will Dunn

18 May 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

We don't really know how useful or dangerous AI really is, according to The New Statesman. That's because the tech industry and regulators each have their own incentives to exaggerate its power.

In April 2018 Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Senate to answer questions on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and whether Facebook now represented a threat to the free world. Traditionally, for any business to be described by its parliament as “a weapon against democracy” would be a bad thing.

But for Facebook the opposite was true. As the world watched a pale and contrite Zuckerberg explain whether he had subverted democracy itself, Facebook’s stock rose by 4.5 per cent, its best day’s trading for more than two years. In a single day Zuckerberg’s personal wealth rose by $2.3bn, equivalent to 70,000 years of work on the median American salary.

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