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Microsoft executive warns AI will cause 'real damage' in the wrong hands

A key Microsoft executive said Wednesday that artificial intelligence will cause "real damage" when used with malicious intent, especially in elections.

A top Microsoft executive said Wednesday that artificial intelligence will cause "real damage" when used with malicious intent, especially in elections.

"I am confident AI will be used by bad actors, and yes it will cause real damage," Microsoft Chief Economist Michael Schwarz said at a World Economic Forum panel Wednesday. "It can do a lot damage in the hands of spammers with elections and so on."

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Schwarz called for regulation of artificial intelligence but noted lawmakers should wait until there is a clear threat, Bloomberg reported. He added there are clear benefits to responsibly run artificial intelligence systems, such as increased human productivity.

However, he said AI also comes with a bad side.

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"Once we see real harm, we have to ask ourselves the simple question: ‘Can we regulate that in a way where the good things that will be prevented by this regulation are less important?’" Schwarz said. "The principles should be, the benefits from the regulation to our society should be greater than the cost to our society."

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He spoke a day before top executives at Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI Inc. are set to meet Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss artificial intelligence developments and risks, sources confirmed to Fox Business.

The World Economic Forum concluded this week that possibly one in four jobs may be affected by artificial intelligence.

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