Artificial Intelligence systems are slowly impacting more and more our lives and are being implemented in different industries and products. The systems in use currently are mostly based on narrow AI. Narrow AI is very different from general AI. Narrow AI is created to focus on specific tasks, an example is a chatbot. General AI would allow to potentially solve almost any problem and still hasn’t been developed (at least officially). However, most recent developments such as Chat GPT, are moving us closer and closer to the ultimate goal which could be the biggest disruption in the history of humanity – General Artificial Intelligence.
AI can be used to help solve some of the biggest problems that our culture faces and give us answers to some of the biggest questions. However, it poses also the biggest threat to our existence. There are many potential dangers. Automation is taking over and more and more everything becomes interconnected. Internet of things, smart devices, and more and more our lives are driven by technology and digital systems. This could now be hacked by AI or someone could use AI to disrupt the grid, this is one potential danger. But let’s not jump too far with potential threats of General AI as it is still not fully developed, and let us review the dangers that already are slowly unfolding with the current levels of AI:
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1. Job market disruption
Automation is slowly changing the job market landscape. Many jobs are affected and countless might disappear in the near future. Customer service representatives are slowly being replaced by AI bots. The legal profession might get affected as well, some legal documents could be done with the help of Chat GPT-like technologies. Even programmers are at risk, Chat GPT already can write code for software. Many experts think that eventually, AI will be able to build software or websites on its own with minimal human input.
2. Bias and discrimination
AI software is often optimized for efficiency however this sometimes causes discrimination. One example is Amazon’s AI tool which was designed to review job applications and turned out to have a preference for male candidates:
“In effect, Amazon’s system taught itself that male candidates were preferable. It penalized resumes that included the word “women’s,” as in “women’s chess club captain.” And it downgraded graduates of two all-women’s colleges, according to people familiar with the matter. They did not specify the names of the schools.” source
Coded Bias is a documentary available on Netflix that covers more similar examples
Deepfake technology is basically an altered image, video, or voice that can mimic an event or a person. You might see a video of someone who looks like a known celebrity and they might talk about some particular topic but the video is completely fabricated and very convincing. This technology is used maliciously and already causing a lot of harm where videos of celebrities can be altered to create adult movies for example. One of the most recent victims of deepfake AI was Twitch streamer and YouTuber QTCinderella whose footage was altered to create adult-style content.
She was devastated when she learned about it.
4. Privacy concerns
AI systems rely heavily on data, they often gather vast amounts of data that could be misused. Privacy violations are a potential threat. Understanding way too much about an individual is a threat to their privacy. If data would get into the “wrong hands” it could be used against an individual.
5. Manipulation of perception
AI algorithms can manipulate people’s perceptions, views, behaviors, and reactions through fake news, targeted advertising, propaganda, and deepfakes. As a result, democracy could be undermined or people’s decisions could be altered in a negative way.
6. Socioeconomic inequality
Regions or countries that embrace AI technology could disrupt other markets and create a shift in the power structure and economic advantage for those embracing it. AI startups in silicon valley, for example, are already getting a huge injection of funds from investors and venture capital firms.
Perhaps the biggest threat is when AI has access to humans directly. People like Elon Musk are working on implantable brain-computer interface systems such as Neuralink. His idea is to connect humans to computers and this has many dangers as humans become fully hackable by AI or just by hackers. Below you can watch some of my videos explaining why this is so dangerous:
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