AI: Artificial Intrusion – or Invasion?

May 25, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

The usage and dangers of artificial intelligence have been increasing in the past few years, especially as our reliance on it grows.

That seems to be the case for the Godfather of AI, Geoffrey Hinton, who recently left Google. Saying about AI, “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be,” and has come to the “conclusion that the kind of intelligence they’re developing is very different from the intelligence we have.” He’s urging the world to invest in AI safety and control.

Numerous times, films, television shows, video games, and novels have tackled the concept of artificial intelligence, robots, and machines, the relationship between them and humanity, and them taking over the world. Either supplanting humanity as the dominant intelligent species, rising up against us, or, worse, outright exterminating us.

As shown in the Terminator franchise, I, Robot, Blade Runner, M3GAN, or Westworld, robots and intelligent systems are controlled by our will for public service but become infected with computer viruses and become hostile. Or gain enough sentient consciousness to think and act like a human and turn on us. Man versus Machine. Are we becoming artificial and robotic?

AI for military purposes, like Skynet, is quite terrifying. Accidentally starting a nuclear war, giving the keys to a dangerous system. A robot’s view of us, however intelligent, may be very different than our own views of ourselves. And that view could very well be hostile. And when do machines start making machines? Are we unable to shut the system down? That’s a terrifying scenario. Or unmanned automated drones that become rogue and could just attack anywhere at any given moment. You no longer look up at the sky with hope; but fear and dread.

Even with just how we, as humanity, function as a species, as a society, like in WALL-E. Well, the robots might not be hostile, but they’re certainly feeding our complacency, becoming the dominant intelligent “species.” When they gain that “human element,” like in the movie Her, blurring the lines between flesh, tissue, and cybernetics, it’s scary. Unethical.

Speaking from an ethical issue, using AI voice recordings of people, especially those deceased, or creating holograms of them – like with Michael Jackson – just feels off. It feels wrong.

And most importantly, our loss of privacy, like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

From an economic level, because of the increase in the world’s population, the demand for goods and services has increased. To meet that demand, the supply chain must be sped up. And a robot on a car assembly line can do it faster – and without a paycheck – than human hands. Even self-checkout systems or automated floor cleaners/vacuums. To make life easier and let the machines do the boring, laborious jobs. Unless those people who worked those jobs are given others in the company, what will happen to those who are forced out of them? Well, good luck getting an interview, as AI-generated programs are used to quickly search through resumes and cover letters, only programmed for certain words and phrases. The lack of a human brain, eyes, and emotions are definitely missed here.

In terms of creativity, artificial intelligence’s usage has seen its share of controversy and pushback. AI generated artwork in video games. Create the code, the basic elements, press a key, and let the AI do its work while you continue doing something else, or head home. It might help with time-saving, but it replaces that talent and passion.

Recently, an artist won a contest for submitting an AI-generated photograph. Last year in Colorado, a man, Jason Allen, using Midjourney – an artificial intelligence program that turns lines of text into hyper-realistic graphics – also won an art contest. Both have been accused of cheating, saying it’s not real art, and both winners stated they broke no rules. So with all this AI technology being used in society, new laws must be created in regards to its usage.

And as these machines get more intricate, more advanced, the more complicated they’ll become. A quote from the 1973 movie Westworld sums it up best: “These are highly complicated pieces of equipment, almost as complicated as living organisms. In some cases, they’ve been designed by other computers. We don’t know exactly how they work.” The more complicated they get, the harder it is for us regular people to understand and grasp just exactly how they work.

A human hand, brain, and heart are better and safer than a cold, emotionless machine. No matter how “intelligent” or “human,” we try to make them. We humans are flawed, but that’s the point. To adapt, learn, change. If the fictional works we’ve entertained ourselves with become a reality, there’s only one-way artificial intelligence will learn, change or adapt, and it’s not good.

Maybe like Frankenstein, we’ve come to regret the monster we created. The unregulated nature of AI could lead to disastrous consequences in the future. And that future is becoming more present.

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