LONDON: Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai said that there needs to be a balanced approach for regulating artificial intelligence as technology which brings benefits can also have “negative consequences.”

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. The question is how best to approach this,” Pichai said, according to a transcript of his speech at a Brussel-based think tank. Pichai however, did not provide any specific proposals.

He noted that there's an important role for governments to play and that as the European Union and the US start drawing up their own approaches to regulation, “international alignment” of any eventual rules will be critical.

“Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms with social opportunities,” he said. The Google CEO said that rather than starting from scratch it could incorporate existing standards like Europe's tough General Data Protection Regulation.

While it promises big benefits, he raised concerns about potential downsides of artificial intelligence, citing as one example its role in facial recognition technology, which can be used to find missing people but also for “nefarious reasons" which he didn't specify.

In 2018, Google pledged not to use AI in applications related to weapons, surveillance that violates international norms, or that works in ways that go against human rights.

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