Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Headlines Inaugural NTI Innovation Forum

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Amid rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest J. Moniz hosted Eric Schmidt, former CEO and chairman of Google, for a conversation about how today’s emerging technologies will fundamentally alter global security—and society at large. The inaugural NTI Innovation Forum, hosted at NTI on January 24, focused on how AI is transforming the foundations of nuclear and biological security and what it means for the future.

“I’m quite convinced that we will have a moment in the next decade where we will see the possibility of extreme risk events because of the technology that’s being developed now,” Schmidt explained. “There is a great deal of concern that we’re building the tools that will accelerate the dangers that are already present.” Optimistically, Schmidt shared that “the industry understands this and is working really hard on what [are] called guardrails.” He also emphasized the value of NTI’s new series in promoting dialogue on these issues, saying “Trying to get the notion of innovation into D.C., which is what you’re trying to do, is really important.”

As governments grapple with how to effectively harness the benefits and mitigate the risks of emerging technologies, it is essential to hear from the industry leaders and innovators who have ushered in this age of AI. The NTI Innovation Forum will bring together leaders from across technology, industry, and global security sectors to stimulate and catalyze thinking on how to tackle critical nuclear and biological security challenges.

“We feel that it’s really important right now to focus on emerging technologies including AI, but not exclusively AI, and the implications for security—in particular, nuclear security and biosecurity,” Moniz said. “There is no doubt that this is a time where we’ve seen enormous technology advances … but we’re also in a period of great change in terms of security architecture.” Moniz continued, “There’s really no one better to kick off this thinking than Eric, who is very creative in these areas.”

About Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt was Google’s CEO and chairman from 2001-2011. More recently, he served as chairman of the U.S. National Security Commission for Artificial Intelligence. In 2021, he launched the Special Competitive Studies Project, an initiative to strengthen America’s long-term global competitiveness for a future where AI and other emerging technologies reshape our national security, economy, and society. Schmidt co-authored the bestselling book The Age of AI: And Our Human Future with Dr. Henry Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocher.

About NTI

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity.

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