Apple CEO Tim Cook has warned that the 'dangers are profound' if AI falls into the wrong hands

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Getty Images.

Tim Cook was on the warpath during his trip to Europe on Wednesday.

In a speech to a privacy conference in Brussels, Belgium, the Apple CEO launched a stinging attack on firms like Facebook for weaponizing data for profit.

He also used the remarks to warn of a disregard for privacy becoming part of another technological phenomenon – artificial intelligence.

“Artificial intelligence is one area I think a lot about. Clearly, it’s on the minds of many of my peers as well,” he said at the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners on Wednesday.

He was optimistic about the potential of artificial intelligence. “At its core, this technology promises to learn from people individually to benefit us all,” he said.

“Yet advancing AI by collecting huge personal profiles is laziness, not efficiency. For artificial intelligence to be truly smart, it must respect human values, including privacy. If we get this wrong, the dangers are profound,” he warned.

Cook added: “We can achieve both great artificial intelligence and great privacy standards. It’s not only a possibility, it is a responsibility. In the pursuit of artificial intelligence, we should not sacrifice the humanity, creativity, and ingenuity that define our human intelligence.”

Although Cook did not unpack what the potential dangers may be, big tech companies have come under fire for irresponsible use of artificially intelligent systems.

The ACLU, for example, criticised Amazon earlier this year after it tested its facial recognition software, which wrongly identified 28 out of the 533 members of Congress as having been arrested. Amazon defended its software, saying that the ACLU had not configured its settings correctly.

You can watch Cook’s full speech here:

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