A few weeks ago, we introduced our first panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence at our ChannelNEXT events to explore its impact on the channel community. [You can request access to the recorded session. Expect much more to be coming from us about AI in the channel].
Today, we are taking the first small step into setting some basic boundaries around our use of AI as it relates to the news media content we create. We are introducing a “No Artificial Intelligence Inside” icon that will appear on the content.
The goal is simply to inform the audience that the content was not created by AI.
We understand that its impact is just a droplet in the overall mission to regulate AI, but if everyone does something, maybe it’s better than doing nothing.
Everyone is forming an opinion about AI that falls into one of three basic categories: good, bad or ugly. There’s also the “sentient” group, which I’ll leave to the AI experts.
Here are links to some of the most forward-thinking individuals discussing artificial intelligence. (Geoffrey Hinton; Mo Gawdat; Yuval Noah Harari; You may also want to search for content by Elon Musk as he has been very outspoken on AI since the early days).
I share their concerns, but I am optimistic that AI will be used to mitigate most of the negative results. I have to believe that humans will not just let AI run wild, and that there will always be a strong opposing force to push back.
Here’s a summary of what I learned so far about AI after listening to and speaking with a number of AI and IT professionals.
- Health: Medical and health advancements are likely to be the biggest AI triumphs for humans. This is already happening. AI assisting humans in living healthier and longer lives is a wonderful thing if everyone has access to medicines and services.
- Senior Living: AI will help to take better care of senior citizens with a wide variety of assisted-living support. Personally I think this is going to an exciting area of AI – improving medicines, monitoring health, falls, emergency notifications, reminders, nutrition, doing physically challenging tasks, providing emotional support and even companionship.
- Climate Change: Humans may never do what is necessary to prevent the tipping point of climate change from happening, hence AI may have to find ways to help save the planet and humanity from itself.
- Personal AI Assistant: Figure out how to best leverage AI in our jobs and daily lives. AI is already baked into many applications and technologies so you are probably using it right now and not even know it. It’s important to at least know when you are using AI and be aware of its potential impact.
- Work: Many people are required to work in hazardous or monotonous jobs in order to earn money. Hopefully, AI will assist humans with these tasks, but it is clear that AI will also reduce the amount of humans needed. AI is a “double-edged sword” for jobs. That said, those who know how to better leverage AI in their jobs will have an advantage over others.
- Collective Intelligence: Leveraging the world’s combined intelligence is the ultimate game-changer. What could happen if anyone could have access to such a comprehensive resource for all intelligence through an interface that any human can easily use? How can this impact students with their education? The impact of this will be profound in so many ways yet to be discovered.
- Manipulation: A lot of our privacy is already out the window. What more can AI do with our data? AI will eventually know us better than we know ourselves, putting it in a position to control our behaviour. This is a marketing dream, so expect it to become commonplace. Did you really want to do that, or were you given the right cues to lead your brain in that direction? What can AI do to manipulate us every day? How would you even know? Impact on elections and much more. Depending on who you talk to, this manipulative AI can be perceived as good or bad.
- Bad Answers: Unexpected effects of people using AI for their jobs or personal interests. Asking AI for assistance does not guarantee a correct answer (same can be true for searching on the Internet). So, if people utilize AI mindlessly, expect some bad results that could have bad consequences. Remember, AI can just make stuff up!
- Dumbing down of humans: We may become a more passive society if AI handles more of the work, content creation, and decision making. Being excessively dependent on AI could eventually impair human cognition and problem-solving abilities. Some say that since AI will eventually take over much of the deep thinking, AI will also solve the problems and invent everything needed.
- Replacing Humans: Almost every industry will see AI replace certain jobs. I simply stopped counting the different types of jobs that will be affected. I used to believe that fashion and modelling couldn’t be influenced until I saw a fashion show in New York where the outfits were designed by AI and the models were created by AI. Who will support all of the people that AI puts out of work? Sure AI will create new jobs, but will the people being replaced be able to do those new jobs?
- Content Creators: As AI smashes together content from multiple sources, it will be more difficult to know exactly where it came from and therefore who should be credited in some way. The vast majority of content creators may find their work being used with no way of being compensated. What will motivate people to create new content? AI is already creating amazing art (See Midjourney). AI is already creating poetry. AI is already writing faster and better than most humans.
- War: AI is already baked into military and law enforcement. Think face-recognition, drones and soon an army of AI robots to fight, manage weapon systems and make decisions. We’ve all seen the movie, and humans never win. We already have drones, so this is without a doubt where we’re headed. War is already like a video game that is played out thousands of miles away. Which human army could win against just a few thousand robots that need no food, sleep or breaks with also a sniper precision? Click and you’re dead shouldn’t be a thing.
- Power: Human opinions are influenced by AI, particularly in political campaigns or other positions of leadership. This can determine who runs countries or lead organizations. The winner may be determined by whose AI is more effective rather than who is best qualified for the job. Of course, social media platforms are where most of this will play out.
- Humanity: AI making judgments that affect human lives. Who gets a job, a loan, a house, etc.. Human biases already exist in many of these decisions, so AI might either reduce or worsen the prejudices. Money influences combined with AI can be a force-of-evil multiplier.
- Criminals: AI in cybercrime and other crimes. AI has the potential to make criminals smarter. The world does not need smarter criminals. What will happen if everyone with a criminal or psychopathic mind can use AI to make themselves worse? It’s very likely that most criminals are already on this path.
- History: AI has the capability to alter modern history in ways we cannot yet grasp. Who knows what culture will become as future generations grow up with AI everywhere. When AI takes over education, it gains real power, especially when it decides what to teach. Most likely, some people will be able to influence what AI can or cannot teach. Yet to be born generations can be taught a history that has been completely rewritten to support a given narrative.
- Deep Fakes: Deep fakes will have an impact on everything we see and hear in the future. Our belief system will become distorted. Many people will probably create a digital assistant to help in their work, but what happens when bad actors create your digital twin for evil purposes. Consider a million digital twins of yourself being used by strangers for whatever purpose they desire. The phrase “game over” comes to mind.
- Bots: These AI-powered digital-beings are already everywhere and can be trained to do anything its creators want them to do. While some bots help humans with things like support, other bots can be trained to attack any network.
The AI train has left the station and there is no slowing it down.
Do not be afraid about AI itself because it will not harm you in the short run. Be wary of humans who understand how to utilize AI to impact your domain to game the system.
To take over completely, AI requires humans to help educate it, and the humans who can best utilize AI in a certain task will be the ones doing the teaching to the AI. When it is combined with self-learning (machine learning), AI may simply accelerate the process while we sleep and instantly disseminate the knowledge to every other AI hub on the planet.
The list of positive outcomes from AI seems far longer than the list of negative outcomes from AI. However, the impact of just a few bad or ugly uses can be disastrous to humans.
A new era in human history has begun… High intellect is no longer exclusive to humans. Will humans tame AI, or will AI tame humans? Everyone should be talking about AI because, in my opinion, it is the only way to stay ahead of the curve.
Most of the AI leaders such as Elon Musk believe government regulation is the only way forward to put some guardrails before “Artificial General Intelligence” takes hold and becomes too late to regulate. At the very least applications that use AI or content created by AI should have a label just like our food and drugs have ingredients listed (and drug side effects). Eventually some organization can rate the use of AI, maybe similar to how nutrition facts food scanner apps work.
How can regulators enforce compliance? Failure to comply with regulations can start with fines and then criminal charges but in extreme cases, power or Internet access can be cut off to the AI datacenter. Failsafe triggers in software to deactivate or control its use may also be wise. Then of course, there are drones… There are ways to keep AI from getting out of control.
We are trying to be part of the solution with simple labelling… What will you do?