The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will likely have a number of serious consequences for human society and the economy. Early indications from the use of such technology show that once the genie is out of the bottle, it may be difficult to put it back in.
One of the potential concerns is that AI could warp the ethics of the person using it. Commonly-available AI programs such as ChatGPT and its successor GPT4 allow for the creation of a number of written outputs.
These include the ability to cheat on homework, produce rough outlines of programming code, and the ability to chat with the user. In addition, other programs can help create music and synthetic photographs. There are even some programs that create short videos.
The chat feature sometimes produces incorrect information. In other cases, there are examples of the program offering morally gray or unacceptable ideas. One cited example is about the morality of human sacrifice. In another case, the chat system allowed the user to plan out robbing a bank.
The potential concern about the advancement of such technology is so great that a number of prominent thinkers signed an open letter calling for a pause in development.
Tesla founder Elon Musk was among the signatories. The letter stated that the “dangerous race” between various new AI programs could cause severe risks for humanity.
Musk isn’t the only one to have noticed. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak signed the letter and Italy banned ChatGPT for the time being.
Furthermore, the fear of AI technology spiraling out of control even made it to the White House, which proposed a potential “Bill of Rights” on the subject.
In a statement, the Biden administration wrote that “automated systems should not be designed with an intent or reasonably foreseeable possibility of endangering your safety or the safety of your community.”
There may be a political dimension to the increasing use of AI, as well. Many conservatives accused ChatGPT of having a left-wing political bias.
This included giving a number of answers that appeared to be biased against former President Donald Trump and favorable to left-wing causes.
There is also a considerable risk that if the United States or allied countries do not develop such artificial intelligence technology, other nations will.
"The central risk associated with AI has always centered on who controls the development of the technology…
and the politically shaped algorithms that are implemented into that technology."
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 5, 2023