Coinbase CEO Calls for Deregulation of Artificial Intelligence

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes the United States should not regulate or restrict the development of artificial intelligence (AI) at all, saying that any attempt to mitigate its negative consequences will only slow its progress.

“We’ve enjoyed a golden age of innovation on software and the internet largely due to it not being regulated,” said Armstrong over Twitter on Friday. “AI should do the same.”

The executive’s comments mirror his prior takes concerning the crypto industry, which he’s warned for years will be pushed overseas if burdened with too many laws. This is particularly true in the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi), which Coinbase argued last year shouldn’t get the same regulatory attention as centralized firms. 

As with finance, Armstrong said we should “decentralize” and “open source” the AI industry and “let the cat out of the bag.”

“The track record on regulation is that it has unintended consequences and kills competition[and] innovation, despite best intentions,” he argued.

Since the mass mainstream adoption of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, investors and tech industry giants are racing to exploit every opportunity for innovation presented by the technology. Applications include text/image generation, coding, cancer detection, self-driving cars, and more.

Earlier this week, an anonymous Ethereum developer created a tool that leverages ChatGPT to automatically deploy new crypto tokens to Ethereum using a simple command. Others have leveraged ChatGPT’s technology to create educational tools for crypto, including one that evokes the voice of Bitcoin’s long lost creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. 

The technology is also growing popular for more nefarious purposes, however, including the promotion of realistic-sounding crypto scams en masse using social media, or flooding Amazon’s marketplace with low-quality ebooks.

Beyond crypto, Armstrong said fast progress on AI is important for many reasons – national security among them. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted last year that AI is altering “the very character of war,” from “predicting mechanical failures in weapons platforms to performing complex analysis to support its warfighting mission.”

AI-based innovations were notably absent from Armstrong’s top 10 crypto innovations he highlighted last month. He instead supported efforts like layer-2 privacy, Web3 game economies, and attempts to “tokenizing everything.”

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