Apple CEO Tim Cook says A.I. companies need to regulate themselves

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Apple CEO Tim Cook arrives for the season three premiere of “Ted Lasso” at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 2023.

Michael Tran | Afp | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook said recently that he uses ChatGPT, the AI chatbot, and is excited about the tool’s “unique applications.”

In an interview that aired Tuesday, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that while Apple clearly integrates AI into its products today, the general public doesn’t necessarily think about those features as AI, adding that the company is looking at ChatGPT closely. 

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Cook added that large language models – the AI tools that power chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard – show “great promise” but also the potential for “things like bias, things like misinformation [and] maybe worse in some cases.”

Cook also offered his thoughts on regulation and guardrails, saying that they’re needed, but that AI is powerful and the tech’s development is moving quickly. 

“If you look down the road, then it’s so powerful that companies have to employ their own ethical decisions,” Cook said. “Regulation will have a difficult time staying even with the progress on this because it’s moving so quickly. So I think it’s incumbent on companies as well to regulate themselves.” 

Cook’s comments on AI’s fast-moving development and considerable power follow a high-profile statement last week about AI’s risks, signed by tech leaders like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei. But AI researchers and critics increasingly say that overarching statements about AI’s growing power and threats distract from the real-life harms that the algorithms can cause to marginalized communities right now, rather than in an unspecified future. 

His statements came one day after the keynote speech of Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, where the company touted new applications of machine learning for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, such as AI models that can issue smart prompts to users for potential journal entries, better AI tools for autocorrect and dictation in messaging and more comprehensive facial recognition features for identifying friends, family and pets in photos. 

Watch the full interview on GMA.

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