MANILA — Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday flagged the lack of government regulations on big technology companies and innovations, claiming that artificial intelligence (AI) has been among the reasons for abuses and divisiveness in societies.
AI has been "incorporating existing hate and biases" in algorithms and it has become a problem as it has fueled aggressive behavior both online and offline, Clinton said during the Social Good Summit.
"It will cater to the worst of our nature, not the best, because what we learned from our tech's success, the more negative the message, the more shocking the message is, the more views and clicks it will get," she said.
"The only real community activity happening online is gaming… Much of the rest of a person's social media diet is alone, isolating, is often very harmful, damaging to one's self esteem, one's identity," she said.
Several governments around the world had a "failure of leadership and action," she said, underscoring that institutions have yet to address the banes of social media, while AI is already in full swing.
"Most decision makers — including myself — we are not experts in tech, we are not experts in generative AI," Clinton said.
"A lot of times, we do not have the understanding to legislate on the said area," she added.
[Bold: SC chief justice: Proactive, critical engagement needed]
Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the same about the Philippine context, underscoring that "the government should take the initiative" to come up with regulation for new technologies.
"Regulation is an important part of the solution particularly to ensure transparency and accountability," Gesmundo said in a recorded message played during the conference.
"We need our legislators and policymakers to have a proactive role, to have an anticipatory role in governance instead of being reactive," he said.
"We also need critical engagement with technology. We cannot embrace it needlessly even as we use its tools more and more often. We have to make space for ethical considerations," he said.
The Philippine Supreme Court earlier launched its "Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027" which assesses the "benefits and risks of AI innovations for our justice system," Gesmundo said.
"AI has potential to enhance accuracy and efficiency of judicial decisions, while at the same time raise judicial bias," he said.
"We need to maintain and open broader channels of dialogue… across a wide range of disciplines," he said.
Meanwhile, Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa said that more needs to be done to urge big tech companies to "stop surveillance for profit" and to stop earning from users' data, especially as several countries are set to hold their national elections next year.
"If nothing is done, if we do not change the tech from manipulating us, we will elect illiberal leaders," Ressa said.
"They will shut down the institutions… even democracies," she said.
For Gesmundo, all players in both the government and technology industry should "not lose sight of people."
"I cannot point to any absolute solution… The point I suppose is that we ask the question and we begin and sustain such conversation… So we can better approach the technologies of tomorrow not in fear, not in shock."