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Will artificial intelligence be detrimental to humanity?

Posted on March 1, 2023 by Taber Times

Short answer, probably. It will primarily depends on how it is implemented. Now if you’re thinking that humanity will be taken down by AI via a Skynet scenario, we feel that is a bit too extreme, and would probably not occur unless more poor decisions lead up to it. No, the end point that we’re thinking about that could lead to a detrimental situation for humanity is not as bombastic as that, and is already available to us in the form of Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT-3) and AI art generation programs.

AI art generation programs or AI art in general may seem like harmless fun at first, as well as a way for anyone to easily and quickly generate art for themselves. However, the main issue with this form of AI is that it has been trained on art from other artists, and in nearly all cases without their consent. Then, when you compound this blatant theft of work with the effortless nature to use AI you have a situation where companies have blatantly stolen work from artists to put those very same artists out of business. If this seems too far-fetched, there have already been several art competitions that AI art had been submitted to and won. Additionally, we have also seen corporations continuously take the cheaper and easier route when it comes to producing their products regardless of how inhumane, and/or illegal the practice may be. Such as clothing companies using sweatshops, resulting in child, or even slave labour, to produce their products.

Now with AI like GPT-3 how it broadly works is similar to an AI art generation. It takes an input prompt from the user and outputs text based off of that initial response. Although it is not blatantly stealing in the beginning stages of development like AI art generation, this AI is still concerning considering the amount of jobs that involve writing which could be replaced by AI. A bunch of digital artists and writers losing their jobs to AI might not seem very concerning to you but another potential problem is we don’t yet know how much potential growth is in AI at this point. AI right now could be very similar to the early stages of the Internet, where it may seem like a frivolous piece of technology, but give it 10 or five years like the Internet, and AI could be an ever-present element in our daily lives. This, of course, could lead AI to taking over other digital jobs.

AI is not just potentially taking over just these digital jobs, and we have already seen examples of this go into practice. By simply combining rudimentary AI with robotics you can create something similar to Flippy 2, a robotic arm program to fry cook foods at fast food restaurants. Similar to the other two AI that we spoke about this option is a cheaper and more efficient method than human labour.

Our current main concerns with AI, and how we feel that it could potentially lead to being detrimental to humanity, is the mass amount of job loss that could occur if AI is further developed and mass adopted into corporations. We are all for automating menial jobs but we feel like our current support structure for those who are looking to start working, and those who lost their job due to AI automation, are not sufficient enough. Then, with AI in the fields of creative endeavour such as art and writing, we feel AI should remain as a tool to aid the creator, and not something to replace them.

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