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Regulating A.I. is a 'silly idea,' VMWare CEO says

  • Trying to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) is a "silly idea," Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare told CNBC
  • Gelsinger said that AI can be a force for good
  • His comments mirror Intel CEO Brian Krzanich who told CNBC that AI would be difficult to regulate

Trying to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) is a "silly idea," Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare told CNBC Wednesday, amid continued debate about the role of the technology in the future.

VMWare is a cloud computing and software virtualization company with a market capitalization of nearly $50 billion. AI could play a key role in its business in the future, and the boss of the firm said the technology will be a force for good, despite many warnings on the potential dangers of it.

"I think it's a little bit of science fiction rhetoric and fear mongering," Gelsinger told CNBC, talking about some of the doomsday scenarios put forward about the rise of AI.

"AI is bringing intelligence to everything. And the benefits of that I think will improve health care, it will improve businesses, it will improve efficiency, it will create smart cities."

Major figures in the tech and science world have warned about the dangers of AI. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the AI race could lead to World War III, while famed physicist Stephen Hawking said the advent of the technology could be the "worst event" in civilization.

Pat Gelsinger , CEO, VMware.
Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images
Pat Gelsinger , CEO, VMware.

Many have called for regulation of AI. Lawmakers in the European Parliament for example, are currently looking at ways to regulate its development.

But such an approach won't work, according to Gelsinger, who called it a "silly idea."

"I think that's impossible. And I think inappropriate. You know AI it's software, it's algorithm, it's going to be applied to everything," Gelsinger said.

"And it will be regulated by the car manufacturers as they put it into their brands and their cars and … There is already legal frameworks to address those kind of questions … Industry by industry AI will become part of it as we make everything smarter in the process."

Gelsinger's comments mirror those of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich who told CNBC earlier this week that AI is in its "infancy" and too early to regulate.

"It would be too early to do any kind of regulation today. What would you regulate around artificial intelligence today? We need to foster the innovation and allow it to grow. We are at the beginning stages of artificial intelligence," Krzanich said.