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Why AI is More Dangerous Than We Think it is

By Sophia Mao

The field of artificial intelligence has seen an upward growth in its trend starting from the 21st century. Many call this era the “era of AI.” Artificial intelligence is being developed quickly and becoming more advanced each year. However, AI is still dangerous, and we shouldn't fully incorporate it into our society just yet.

AI undoubtedly can help society by a great amount. There is so much we can do with it, from predicting the weather to driving cars by itself. However, artificial intelligence is still being figured out. There are huge risks that come with it. Even Elon Musk himself once said, “AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization.” That may be a bold claim, considering the amount of horrible events in history, but it’s not far from the truth.

There is no surprise that artificial intelligence has had a lot of failures. In the past, AI has developed negative opinions. One such case involves an artificial tool that Amazon was testing in 2014. The system was designed to speed up job hiring for Amazon. By 2015, it was clear that the machine was not rating candidates in a gender neutral way. The tool turned out to be misogynistic, giving preference to white males. In more extreme cases, even deaths can occur from AI malfunctioning. A recent example of this is the Tesla Autopilot function. From its release in 2015 to now, there have been more than 20 deaths and even more crashes that have happened.

Basically, since AI are built by humans, they can sometimes have built in biases- intentional or not. If the AI is built with bias, the results will be biased as well. This can lead to many implications if it is not dealt with properly. When companies build AI algorithms, they have to be very careful and trained responsibly.

Aside from biased systems, AI terrorrism and hacking are becoming reality too. It’s no surprise that new AI-enabled form of terrorism has sprung up over the last few years. Artificial intelligence increases the speed of what can be accomplished, and in many cases, they exceed human capabilities too. Phishing, delivery of viruses to software, and taking advantage of AI systems have become possible threats with AI.

Furthermore, a larger impact AI can have on society as a whole is the loss of jobs. According to the The World Economic Forum, automation will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. Many people have already lost their jobs to the pandemic, so this isn’t great news to hear.

Some experts or organizations may say that AI has more benefit than loss, or that AI will make up the amount of jobs that will be lost in the near future. While AI may have more benefits, it doesn’t throw the risk completely out of the picture. One mistake can trigger all kinds of problems- technology is unpredictable. Regarding the long-term job growth, not everyone is fit for the jobs that AI can create. People without the appropriate skills will be displaced and not have a home in the new environment.

Ultimately, while we have done tons of research and development on AI, it’s still something new and dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with playing with artificial intelligence, but we should be cautious and make sure to eliminate the issues that may come with it. In the future, AI will undoubtedly be a big part of our society, but as of now, we should tread carefully.

Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/30/opinion/artificial-intelligence-european-union.html






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