Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who has ties to pro-censorship President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is arguing against individual privacy and anonymity on AI platforms.
Schmidt testified at a March 8 House Oversight Committee hearing, “Advances in AI: Are We Ready For a Tech Revolution?” He offered three principles for users interacting with generative artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, including a recommendation against anonymity, and one to stop “misinformation,” a typical leftist excuse for censorship. The question is, why would Schmidt, who has deep ties to prominent pro-censorship Democrats in and surrounding government, want to prevent anonymity on AI platforms?
At the hearing, Schmidt critiqued anonymity. “You need to know who the users are, even if you don’t tell the end user who they are, there needs to be some notion of who they are and where they came from,” Schmidt told the Oversight Committee. “True anonymity hidden behind a paywall would allow nation-state attacks.” Reclaim the Net called Schmidt’s proposal a “blow to individual privacy.”
The outlet noted Schmidt’s major influence and investment in AI. “During his time as head of the NSCAI, Schmidt and firms linked to him made over 50 investments in AI companies and multiple investments into national security companies that sell machine learning technologies to the government.” That explains Schmidt’s interest in AI and also his insistence that Big Tech get more involved with national security. In both cases, Schmidt has a financial interest.
This opposition to anonymity is hardly a surprising attitude from Schmidt, however, as Reclaim the Net noted. He previously said, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Schmidt has pushed tech-government partnerships. Schmidt said “tech industry needs to support” national security efforts in 2022. It was further revealed Schmidt was heavily involved with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Over a dozen of the 140-member office staff were reportedly associates of Schmidt in some way, and some were even current employees of Schmidt, according to Politico. Two science office employees received salaries indirectly from his “charity arm” Schmidt Futures, Politico wrote.
The Biden administration and Biden himself have repeatedly called for increased censorship, and the Biden White House has been accused of direct collusion with Big Tech platforms to censor Americans. Knowing users’ identities can facilitate direct, targeted censorship of individuals. Schmidt’s argument that AI platforms shouldn’t have anonymity could simply make censorship easier.
Schmidt has ties to other pro-censorship Democrats. The ex-Google CEO reportedly worked directly with the Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. Schmidt has also long had ties to the defense industry, according to Breitbart. For instance, Breitbart reported that Schmidt chaired the Obama Defense Department’s “Defense Innovation Board,” created in 2016.
Schmidt has since contributed to a $63 million grant to defense startup Rebellion Defense, according to The American Prospect. The startup had two members on Biden’s transition team, alongside much bigger and older companies like Amazon and Uber, Breitbart reported. As Rebellion helped make up the transition team, Reclaim the Net reported, Schmidt led the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI).
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