The bloke who created the world-wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said he is worried that artificial intelligence (AI) could become the new ‘masters of the universe’ by creating and running their own companies.
Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit today, Berners-Lee envisioned a world where AI systems start to develop decision-making capabilities and the impact this will have on the fairness of our economic systems.
He said that AI could decide which companies to acquire: “So when AI starts to make decisions such as who gets a mortgage, that’s a big one. Or which companies to acquire and when AI starts creating its own companies, creating holding companies, generating new versions of itself to run these companies.
“It becomes difficult to understand how to ensure they are being fair, and how do you describe fairness to a computer anyway.”
The scenario does threaten to wipe out an entire industry and raises some fundamental questions about how fair a financial system without any human involvement can be.
Berners-Lee also slammed the Trump administration’s rollback of net neutrality protections.
He recently published a letter on the 28th anniversary of the world wide web, detailing what he views as the three main challenges for the web: loss of control over personal data, the spread of misinformation across the web and the need for transparency with online political advertising.