Woz Calls for AI Regulation

Last year, someone called my grandma pretending to be me. I was in trouble and needed money.

It was a scam. What happens when that scam uses AI?

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“AI is so intelligent it’s open to the bad players, the ones that want to trick you about who they are.”

Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called out serious concerns with AI in an interview this week:

Speaking to the BBC, he said AI content should be clearly labelled, and regulation was needed for the sector.

“A human really has to take the responsibility for what is generated by AI.”

Back to my grandma. In the near future, the voice on the other end of that phone could sound exactly like me.

An AI model could clone my voice and speech style. Given my podcast appearances and this blog, it has plenty of data to work with.

Then, it could deliver an incredible story to grandma. And she might part with the money she worked a lifetime to save.

I pray this does not happen. But it is a serious risk.

AI impersonation involves way more than scams, however. Already, we have seen false images of Donald Trump in handcuffs.

I don’t think many people were fooled by those. But in time, fake images and video will only become more convincing.

We may soon be living in a hall of mirrors, unsure what reality is.

So I wholeheartedly support Woz’s call for labeling. And the best way to do it would be through self-regulation.

Angel investor Jason Calacanis laid out a great template on a recent episode of This Week in Startups. Tech companies could band together like the movie industry did with the MPAA.

Just like the MPAA required ratings labels for movies, tech could require certain labels for AI content. Companies that violate this could be banned from partnerships or financing.

Industries self-regulate to head off regulation by the government. And in a complex and rapidly changing field like AI, government is ill-suited to the job.

How many people in government know anything about AI? And even if they do, government moves too slowly to regulate something this dynamic.

AI has incredible benefits. I found out about Woz’s interview using GPT-4!

But anything this powerful also has serious risks. If we don’t start protecting people, the government will.

Do you agree with Woz? Why or why not?

Leave a comment and let us know!

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