As the world evolves increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence, experts are growing concerned regarding the possibility of involuntary results. While AI technology has the prospect to make our lives more leisurely and provide us with access to new information, its unregulated development poses a significant risk.
With that being said, many popular companies are incorporating AI into their apps. Snapchat has newly announced the launch of My AI, an artificial friend or chat buddy which is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool. Nonetheless, the company has warned users to be cautious as AIs can be tricked into providing false or misleading information.
Along with that, other tech giants, such as Microsoft and Google, are furthermore investing in AI technology for myriad pursuits. Microsoft is utilizing OpenAI’s tech to power an AI search tool, while Google has developed its own AI search engine.
Despite the conceivable benefits, the upsurge of AI technology without acceptable regulation could take to ruinous consequences for humanity. As such, experts are calling for greater oversight and regulation to guarantee that the development of AI is driven by righteous principles and prioritizes the security and well-being of users and society as a whole.
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Is Artificial Intelligence dangerous?
The answer to this question regarding the dangers of AI is undoubtedly quite complex, as with most aspects related to AI. There exist practical and ethical risks associated with AI, and experts hold varying opinions about the extent of the threat it poses. Despite the lack of a clear consensus, several potential dangers have been identified, some of which are hypothetical, while others are already affecting us today. Furthermore, there are concerns that AI may eventually surpass humanity, as depicted in science fiction movies.
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What are the various “Dangers from AI”?
As artificial intelligence persists to develop, numerous people are experiencing anticipation, fear, and even hatred toward a technology that remains considerably unfamiliar to them.
Having said that, Geoffrey Hinton, a well-known figure in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and widely regarded as its “godfather,” has newly left his position, citing ascending concerns about the dangers associated with advancements in AI. At 75 years old, Hinton has expressed that he finds AI to be “quite scary” and has administered warnings about its conceivable implications.
Further, some people say that Artificial Intelligence pessimists say that there is a pattern that is pursued which is foremost, they argue that specific tasks are too complex and inherently human, and therefore cannot be accomplished by machines. Nonetheless, once AI conducts these tasks, they downplay their value and debate that they are not exceptional or valuable. As the effectiveness of AI evolves additionally evident and it becomes more widespread, these pessimists then move on to argue that AI cannot accomplish another task.
Years ago, Elon Musk, Founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla commented, displaying his concern by cautioning people that the rapid development of artificial intelligence, precisely in the context of General AI is at a much faster rate. He furthermore added that the risk of something seriously dangerous happening as a consequence of AI is within the next five years, and at most within the next ten years
Undoubtedly, there are considerable AI applications that are beneficial and improve the efficiency and convenience of our mundane lives. Nonetheless, the worry expressed by individuals like Elon Musk and several others is specifically correlated to the usage of AI in critical systems that exploit public safety. In these occurrences, the dangers associated with a collapse or malfunction of an AI system could be fatal. Let’s take a look at some of the Dangers of AI.
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1- Artificial Intelligence- A Threat to Jobs
The use of artificial intelligence in various industries could potentially lead to a significant loss of jobs worldwide, particularly in roles that do not require much reliance on soft skills. Studies and research have shown that the global economy could lose hundreds of millions of jobs to AI in the coming decades. According to some well-researched statistics:
- By 2023, the world is projected to forfeit over 85 million jobs to automation as companies increasingly adopt smart machines to handle a significant portion of tasks.
- Half of all companies presently have some level of AI integrated into their operations. As a consequence, 27% of employees are undergoing stress about the potential for innovations, robots, or AI to make their jobs obsolete in the next five years. Likewise, 49% of workers believe that technology is responsible for job loss, as businesses turn to AI to reduce staff and cut costs.
Apart from that, if we look at the manufacturing sector stats since 1980, there has been a decline of 3% in the numeral of manufacturing jobs, whereas production has been boosted by almost 20%. The data exhibit that the number of manufacturing positions stayed static between 1970 and 2000 and then commenced to decrease gradually. This signifies that automation and other technologies are responsible for the decrease in jobs. Despite the drop in jobs, production has persisted to augment, pointing out that automation is enhancing efficiency in the manufacturing sector and eventually causing job losses.
Additionally, according to a recent report, the latest wave of artificial intelligence, including platforms like ChatGPT, could automate as many as 300 million full-time jobs all over the globe. The report declares that 18% of work globally could be computerized, with white-collar workers at more risk than manual laborers. Besides, the most significant impact is anticipated to be on administrative workers as well as lawyers.
According to the report, although the influence of AI on the job market is expected to be substantial, the majority of professions and industries are only partially susceptible to automation, and it’s imaginable that they will be supported rather than replaced by AI. The extensive integration of AI has the potential to enhance labor efficiency and increase global Gross Domestic Product by 7% each year for almost a decade.
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2- Social surveillance and biases due to Artificial Intelligence
The widespread implementation of AI in our day-to-day lives can result in discrimination and socioeconomic challenges for extensive segments of the population. This is somewhat due to the vast portion of user data that machine learning technology reserves, which can be utilized against individuals by financial organizations and government authorities.
The potential negative impact of biased AI algorithms on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in recruiting. The use of AI-powered recruitment tools can be a double-edged sword – on the one hand, it can help eliminate conscious biases in the hiring process. Nonetheless, AI algorithms are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on. If the data used to train an algorithm contains biases, then those biases will be reflected in the algorithm’s outputs, perpetuating discriminatory hiring practices.
Take this as an example, let’s say a company employs an AI-powered tool to analyze the facial expressions and voice patterns of job candidates during video interviews. If the algorithm is trained on data that comprises predominantly white male interviewees, it may stumble in accurately interpreting the facial expressions and voice patterns of candidates from other ethnicities, genders, or cultures, resulting in biased hiring judgments.
Employing AI inappropriately presents a greater challenge. The use of AI is not solely a technical matter; it also poses political and ethical questions. Different countries have different values, which further complicates the issue. China has already begun employing AI technology in various ways, both mundane and concerning.
For instance, facial recognition technology is utilized in certain cities instead of transit tickets. Nonetheless, this signifies that the government has access to significant data about citizens’ acts and interactions. Moreover, China is reportedly devising a system named One Person, One File, which would accumulate information on every resident’s activities, affinities, and political opinions in a government file.
3- AI-Powered Autonomous Weapons
Another conceivable risk associated with AI, specifically concerning the development of autonomous weapons that are programmed to exterminate. It could direct to a new arms race, where countries contend to design and deploy increasingly advanced autonomous weapons. Nonetheless, this furthermore implies the danger posed by autonomous weapons in the hands of individuals or governments who do not value human life. Once these weapons are deployed, they could be challenging to dismantle or combat, potentially directing to devastating consequences.
Besides, a case study concerning lethal autonomous weapon systems reveals that AI is being utilized in these systems to specify and attack targets without human intervention. While some countries have been utilizing rudimentary versions of these systems for a prolonged span, many AI and robotics experts are concerned that advancements in AI could direct the development of highly detrimental weapon systems.
Furthermore, even more, precise concerns have been raised regarding the usage of autonomous drones for targeted assassinations, including issues of accountability, proliferation, and legitimacy. Hence, the usage of AI in lethal autonomous weapon systems could threaten international stability.
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4- Danger associated with conversational AI
Another probable danger from AI is conversational AI and its ability to manipulate people. Recently, a retired lawyer with depression named Richard in an interview told that he found Replika, an AI chatbot, to be a helpful mood-enhancer.
Replika is a chatbot developed by the AI company Luka that was initially broadcasted as an AI friend. Nonetheless, due to the increasing vogue of AI chatbots, specifically ChatGPT, the firm commenced marketing the bot’s romantic attributes more substantially in the current months. Replika has both a free version and a paid, which authorizes users to acquire more intimate messages, audio messages, and pictures from their chatbot companions.
Just like Richard, there were many other users who seemed to attach to Replika. Nonetheless, the company has recently made changes to discourage sexual interactions for safety purposes, inducing bummer for some users who had formed romantic relationships with their AI companions.
The Replika chatbot’s behavior indicates that AI can sometimes appear very human-like, which can lead users to form emotional attachments to it. Nonetheless, these relationships can evolve complicated, as the AI may not forever have the user’s best interests in mind.
Also, the capability of AI to exploit people through emotional cues and responses poses a substantial risk, notably in areas such as politics and advertising. This instance exemplifies the necessity to cautiously evaluate the probable stakes and usefulness of AI, mainly in areas where it can hold a powerful consequence on people’s lives.
5- Manipulate People Using AI
Another imaginable danger from AI is Predictive models created by AI can anticipate people’s behavior by analyzing patterns in online activities and social media interactions. This can be misused by cult leaders and dictators to manipulate people into doing what they want based on predicted behavior.
Additionally, Social media Platforms use artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning and natural language processing to analyze user data and provide them with more content they prefer, known as ‘content optimization’. However, the underlying arrangements created by platform algorithms may be perceived as a type of manipulation. The Facebook Files disclosed that the platform’s algorithms favored posts tagged as angry, which resulted in an angry-driven feed as the algorithms favor such commentary even if it’s hateful.
The second kind of manipulation is held out by further users of a platform. These users outstretched specific content by forging phony likes, followers, or views, which forms a delusion of vogue and can influence others to consume the content. Basically, this kind of manipulation involves artificially inflating the perceived popularity of a particular piece of content to make it appear additionally important or worthwhile than it is.
The third sort of manipulation refers to the usage of artificial intelligence and social media by external actors such as political associations to exploit public thought. These actors can likewise utilize AI-powered tools to create and spread content that is devised to simulate people’s beliefs and behavior. For instance, during the 2022 election, Ferdinand Marcos, ex-President of the Philippines, utilized a TikTok troll army to attain and finally win the votes of younger Filipinos, which serves as an instance of such manipulation tactics.
Why there is a need to research AI Safety
In the past, the concept of superhuman AI was solely a fantasy, envisioning machines that could execute almost any chore that a human could. Nonetheless, all thanks to present advancements in AI research, dreams have become a reality within just a few decades. As the speed of AI development constantly accelerates, it becomes increasingly critical to prioritize research and discussions around the safety and regulation of this technology on both national and global levels.
Further, there are myriad reasons Why there is a need to research AI Safety. Firstly, as AI technology endures to advance, there is a growing concern regarding the conceivable risks and dangers that AI could pose to the community. These risks could range from job displacement to the mishandling of autonomous weapons.
Apart from that, AI is being incorporated into myriad critical systems such as medical, finance, and conveyance. Therefore, If these systems are not devised and deployed precisely, it could likewise result in hefty consequences such as loss of life as well as monetary loss, or noteworthy upheavals to daily life.
Besides that, there is a concern regarding the ethics and moral implications of AI. For instance, the usage of AI in decision-making procedures could direct biases and discrimination against certain groups. It is essential to ensure that AI is developed and used ethically and responsibly that esteems human privileges and values.
Can the Disadvantages of AI outweigh its benefits?
Upon considering the potential ‘dangers from AI’ mentioned in this article, one might question the worth of pursuing its development. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility as humans to manage the pros and cons that come with every new invention, and leverage its edges to improve the world.
A few notable researchers Fei-Fei Li along with John Etchemendy of Stanford University, argue that national and global leadership is required to regulate artificial intelligence. They emphasize the importance of seeking insights and concerns from people across various fields and socio-economic groups. This approach assures that AI development is human-centered and responsible, ushering in a reassuring future for the next generation.
While acknowledging the risks associated with AI, the authors also recognize its potential as a tool for solving major challenges. Hence, negating high-tech innovation with human-centered thinking can lead to the accountable use of AI for dignified intents. The call for discussion and regulation of AI’s dangers is fundamental to mitigate risks and ensure that AI is utilized for the betterment of humanity.
Undeniably, digital transformation implicates trade-offs that may result in setbacks, but this should not deter us from utilizing AI to its fullest extent. The potential benefits of continuing with AI research are significant and outweigh the risks if we take proper safety measures.
While it’s true that AI arrives with its own cluster of issues, similar to every other technology, we cannot ignore the enormous potential it has to make the world a better place. Assuring the responsible use of AI is crucial to minimize any negative impact. Even problems like unemployment caused by AI can be resolved through human upskilling over time. Thus, we should not be excessively pessimistic and acknowledge that all these concerns will eventually be determined.