Commentary: Big Tech’s calls for more regulation offers a chance for them to increase their power
In Davos... [b]ig Tech... used their airtime to call for more regulation, particularly in the area of artificial intelligence (AI)... Google CEO Sundar Pichai called for “sensible regulation” and Satya Nadella, the boss of Microsoft, called for global rules around A.I. He also backed regulation around the “time of use” of AI, like facial recognition... [W]hy is Big Tech pushing so hard for more regulation? Firstly they want to appear like they are benevolent forces using technology for good. And they want to make it seem like they are ready to work with governments around the world. But I would say they actually see regulation as a chance to increase their dominance.
... [In the EU] the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought in stringent rules around the handling of people’s personal information and data. It was designed to make sure there was no misuse for data. But the cost of complying with it was so high, it only helped Google and Facebook consolidate their dominance of the European advertising market. A similar trend could happen if more and more regulation is brought in, particularly around AI. Big Tech will be able to afford the lawyers and compliance costs while start-ups could be left behind.