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Time To Defend Humanity? The Ongoing Fight Against AI

Creatives suing data companies. Prominent AI figures warning about AI. Learn how society and technology intersect in the ever-evolving fight against AI dominance.

Elisa Mueller
Oct 09, 202332 Shares16128 Views
The fight against AIis a journey into the heart of technology’s most pivotal challenge.
The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has ushered in an era of unparalleled innovation and transformation across various facets of our lives.
Humanity now finds itself at a crossroads like never before, where humans grapple with the very technology they have created.
AI promises solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, from revolutionizing healthcare and enhancing productivity to making autonomous vehicles a reality.
However, with this remarkable promise comes an equally formidable challenge - the fight against AI.

Is AI A Threat To Humanity?

When Washington-based think tank Pew Research Center asked experts what they imagine 2035 would be like in terms of technological advances, they expressed “great expectations.”
According to a report it published in June 2023, these experts expect improvements in, among other things:
  • education
  • healthcare
  • the status of the environment (in relation to pollution, climate change, etc.)
Still, along with being expectant, these experts likewise revealed their concerns regarding current, developing, and future digital breakthroughs.
Around 305 experts shared their views and sentiments to Pew Research Center. They include:
academics/scholarspolicy leaders
business leadersresearchers
developerstechnology innovators
The table below shows the result of how these experts feel about the probable changes in digital technology by 2035 and how humans will likely use it and deal with such changes:
How Experts FeelPercentage of Respondents
“equally excited and concerned”42%
“more concerned than excited”37%
“more excited than concerned”18%
“neither excited nor concerned”2%
“they don’t think there will be much real change by 2035”2%
It’s clear that majority of experts have mixed feelings. A good portion of their concerns dwell on AI.
Will that be enough reason to pursue a fight against AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines, enabling them to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.
It’s a broad field of computer science that aims to create systems capable of learning from:
  • data
  • reasoning
  • making decisions
  • solving problems
Sounds great, isn’t it?
Most experts, however, feel more anxious than enthusiastic. As the report states:
Some 79% of the canvassed experts said they are more concerned than excited about coming technological change.- Pew Research Center
In the case of AI, it’s no longer an upcoming technological change. It’s already here!
Experts fear that the present and upcoming technological changesmay not be “human-centered.” In addition, they’re concerned that such changes may negatively impact:
“human rights”“human health and well-being”
“human knowledge”“human connections, governance, and institutions”
The Center for AI Safety (CAIS) in San Francisco seems to join the fight against AI when it issued a 22-word statement about its risk on its website.
Established in 2022, this nonprofit organization, works on “reducing societal-scale risks from AI through technical research and field-building,” according to its LinkedIn profile.
From CAIS (pronounced “case”):
Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.- Center for AI Safety (CAIS)
Among the signatories of this bold declaration were no less than computer scientists Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio. Per Fortune, they’re two of the three considered “godfathers of AI.”
Others were from:
A. Google DeepMind(an Alphabet subsidiary)
NamePosition
Lila Ibrahimchief operating officer (COO)
Alexey Dosovitskiyresearch scientist
David Silvercomputer science professor
Thryn Shapira (from Google Photos)AI ethics lead
B. Microsoft
NamePosition
Bill Gatesco-founder
Kevin Scottchief technology officer (CTO)
Eric Horvitzchief scientific officer
C. OpenAI(ChatGPT’s developer)
NamePosition
Sam Altmanco-founder
John Schulmanco-founder
Wojciech Zarembaco-founder
Mira MuratiCTO
CAIS Executive Director Dan Hendrycks, a computer scientist, and numerous others - professors, scientists, CEOs, political figures, etc. - signed to show their support, too.
The fight against AI exists because humanity appears to be threatened.
To gain a basic and fair understanding of this endeavor, better enlighten yourselves with both the benefitspeople can get from AI as well as the harmit may bring.

Positive Impacts Of AI On Society

Artificial Intelligence has had a significant and positive impact on society in various ways. Here are some of the key positive impacts of AI:
1. Automation of Repetitive Tasks
AI can automate mundane and repetitive tasks. Human workers will have more time to focus on more creative and complex aspects of their jobs.
This leads to:
  • job satisfaction
  • increased productivity
2. Improved Healthcare
AI is revolutionizing healthcare by:
  • assisting in drug discovery
  • predicting disease outbreaks
  • enabling faster and more accurate diagnoses
AI-driven tools like medical image analysis and predictive analytics help doctors make better decisions and improve patient outcomes.
3. Enhanced Education
AI-powered educational tools can:
  • provide instant feedback
  • personalize learning experiences
  • adapt to individual student needs
This makes education more accessible and effective, helping students of all ages learn at their own pace.
4. Efficient Resource Management
AI is used in various industries to optimize resource allocation, such as in:
  • energy grids
  • supply chain management
  • transportation
This leads to:
  • cost savings
  • reduced waste
  • more sustainable practices
5. Improved Customer Service
Chatbots (designed to simulate human conversation and interact with users through text or speech-based interfaces) and virtual assistants powered by AI provide:
  • 24/7 customer support
  • streamline customer interactions
  • answer frequently asked questions
This enhances customer satisfaction and reduces response times.
6. Financial Services
AI algorithms are used in the financial sector for:
  • fraud detection
  • risk assessment
  • algorithmic trading
These applications improve the security and stability of financial markets.
7. Personalized Recommendations
AI-driven recommendation systems, such as those used by streaming platforms and e-commerce websites, enhance user experiences by suggesting content or products based on individual preferences.
8. Safety and Security
AI is used to enhance security in public spaces and critical infrastructure, such as in:
  • surveillance
  • facial recognition
  • anomaly detection
It also helps in identifying and preventing cyber threats.
9. Environmental Conservation
AI assists in monitoring and managing environmental factors, such as:
  • analyzing climate data
  • predicting weather patterns
  • tracking wildlife movements
This information is vital for conservation efforts and disaster preparedness.
10. Accessibility
AI-powered technologies have made digital content more accessible to people with disabilities, improving their quality of life and participation in society.
Examples of such technologies include:
  • speech recognition
  • text-to-speech applications
While AI has the potential for positive impacts, people must still consider and address its ethical and societal challenges, such as:
  • privacy concerns
  • job displacement
  • bias in AI algorithms
The fight against AI involves striking a balance between harnessing AI’s benefits and mitigating its risks.

Risks Of AI

Artificial Intelligence has made significant advancements in recent years and has the potential to bring about numerous benefits.
However, it also comes with several risks and dangers that need to be carefully considered and managed. No wonder the fight against AI has already started.
Here are some of the possible risks and dangers associated with AI:
a. Bias and Fairness
AI systems can inherit biases present in the data they are trained on, leading to discriminatory or unfair outcomes, especially for underrepresented groups.
b. Privacy Concerns
AI can be used to process and analyze vast amounts of personal data, raising concerns about the privacy and security of individuals.
c. Job Displacement
Automation powered by AI can lead to job displacement in certain industries, potentially causing economic disruption and unemployment.
d. Security Vulnerabilities
AI systems can be vulnerable to attacks. Malicious actors may exploit them for various purposes, including:
  • cyberattacks
  • identity theft
  • misinformation
e. Autonomous Weapons
The development of AI-powered autonomous weapons raises ethical concerns about their use in warfare. It can lead to unintended harm and reduction of human control.
f. Ethical Dilemmas
AI can be used to make morally complex decisions, such as self-driving cars having to choose between two dangerous outcomes.
These ethical dilemmas are challenging to resolve, making the fight against AI an uphill climb.
g. Deepfakes and Manipulation
Deepfake videos involve the manipulation of visual and even audio content to make it appear as though individuals are saying or doing things they never actually did.
The term “deepfake” is a combination of “deep learning” and “fake.”
AI can be used to create convincing deepfake videos and audio, making it difficult to discern between real and fake content. Such can be used for disinformation and impersonation.
In his 2020 article for The Guardian, Ian Sample, this British newspaper’s science editor, described deepfake videos as:
The 21st century’s answer to Photoshopping.- Ian Sample
In April 2018, a 1-minute-12-second video of former U.S. President Barack Obama surfaced online, where he called the then-incumbent President Donald Trump as a “total and complete dipshit.”
BuzzFeed uploaded the video on YouTube, which has since garnered 9.6 million views.
An AI-generated Barack Obama in a suit talking, with the American flag behind him
An AI-generated Barack Obama in a suit talking, with the American flag behind him
American actor, comedian, and director Jordan Peele produced it to show the dangers of the proliferation of online fake news, which can take the form of deepfake videos, reported Good Morning America.
Indeed, these deepfake videos are a “menace on the horizon,” according to researchers at the New York University, as quoted by Fortune in a September 2018 article.
h. Loss of Accountability
When AI systems make decisions, it can be challenging to attribute responsibility or assign blame in the event of errors or harm caused by these systems.
i. Unemployment and Skills Gap
While AI can create new job opportunities, it can also lead to a gap in required skills, leaving many workers unemployed or underemployed.
j. Regulatory and Legal Challenges
There are challenges in developing and enforcing regulations that can keep pace with rapidly evolving AI technology, leading to inadequate oversight.
k. Existential Risks
Some experts are concerned about the long-term risks of AI, including scenarios where superintelligent AI systems could pose existential threats to humanity.
Artificial superintelligence (ASI) is a theoretical concept - meaning, according to TechTarget, it “doesn’t exist yet” - within the field of AI.
Still, it represents a level of intelligence and capability that surpasses human intelligence in every aspect.
l. Loss of Human Connection
Overreliance on AI for social interactions or companionship can lead to a reduction in genuine human connections and emotional well-being.
The fight against AI should result in mitigating these risks.
To succeed in this battle, there must be:
  • transparency
  • ethical guidelines
  • robust regulations
  • accountability in AI development and deployment
In addition, ongoing research and public awareness must be made to ensure that AI technologies are used for society’s benefit while minimizing potential dangers.

Industries Disrupted By AI

AI technology has been - in the term used by Per Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) - “disrupting” the following industries in 2023:
Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI)Logistics
Customer Service and ExperienceMarketing
CybersecurityMedia & Arts
DefenseRetail
HealthcareTransportation
What ODSC means with “disrupting” is that AI technology boosts the capabilities of the people working in these industries and the system that exists in each of them.

Jobs Most Affected By AI

Does the fight against AI stem from an imminent threat that AI technology may replace workers- leading to their unemployment?
It could be.
Per ODSC, AI technology can make things better - even faster - than human workers. Therefore, the possibility of human workers losing their jobs to AI looms on the horizon.
As stated in a December 2022 Harvard Business Review article about AI:
These recent advances in AI will surely usher in a period of hardship and economic pain for some whose jobs are directly impacted and who find it hard to adapt.- Professor Ajay K. Agrawal, Prof. Joshua Gans, and Prof. Avi Goldfarb
Agrawal, an economist, business strategy advisor, and professor; Gans, an economics professor; and Goldfarb, a marketing professor, wrote the article.
Still, according to a report by Pew Research Center published in July 2023, a survey it conducted revealed a more positive outlook.
According to the result, several workers - at least those in the U.S. - perceive AI as something beneficial for their jobs and not something that will take their jobs away from them.
Specifically, in the field of information and technology, 32 percent of workers here believe that AI will be to their advantage. Only 11 percent believe otherwise.
A female software engineer coding on a desktop, with two desktop monitors and a laptop in front of her
A female software engineer coding on a desktop, with two desktop monitors and a laptop in front of her
Reports, however, about AI replacing human workers also abound.
According to two separate Business Insider reports both made in May 2023, it will be gloomy weather for the tech industry.
For one, AI will replace 7,800 jobs in IBM in five or more years’ time.
At BT Group, a British telecommunications holding company headquartered in London, it’s eyeing to replace 10,000 jobs by 2030 with AI.
The fight against AI could have even started earlier.
In 2018, on its website, the World Economic Forum predicted that AI might take over an estimated 27 percent of finance-related jobs in China by 2027.
Business Insider reported in September 2023 about jobs that AI “is most likely to replace.” They are:
Industry/SectorSpecific Job/Worker
Educationteachers
Financefinancial analysts, personal financial advisors
Legallegal assistants, paralegals
Marketingmarket research analysts
Mediaadvertising; content creators, journalists, technical writers
Technologycoders, computer programmers, data analysts, software engineers
Tradinginvestment bankers, traders
Miscellaneousaccountants, customer service agents, graphic designers

Movement Against AI

People involved in the fight against AI include several artists, writers, and other creatives.
According to a July 2023 The New York Times (NYT) article, they all dread that AI companies use their works without their knowledge and consent.
British fan fiction writer and voice talent Kit Loffstadt told the NYT that she already experienced it when a data company she didn’t identify stole her stories. She commented:
We each have to do whatever we can to show them [AI/data companies] the output of our creativity is not for machines to harvest as they like.- Kit Loffstadt
The fight against AI by these creative professionals ranges from boycotting and criticizing websites with AI-generated content to the filing of lawsuits, according to NYT.
Two authors joined stand-up comedian, actress, and writer Sarah Silverman in suing ChatGPT developer OpenAI for using their work without their permission.
There were also other lawsuits.
Los Angeles-based law firm Clarkson filed a class action suit in June 2023 against:
  • Google
  • OpenAI
  • Microsoft Corporation
In January 2023, popular American photo supplier Getty Images sued Stability AI, a London-based startup, for allegedly scraping picturesfrom them, reported Reuters.
An ‘Editorial’ page at Getty Images, showing a male gymnast, two Black rugby players and people in a stadium
An ‘Editorial’ page at Getty Images, showing a male gymnast, two Black rugby players and people in a stadium
Per Computerworld, some programmers filed a class action complaintin November 2022 for alleged intellectual property theft against:
  • software company GitHub (parent company: Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • OpenAI
There’s indeed an ongoing fight against AI, which Ryan Clarkson, Clarkson’s founder and managing partner, told NYT as the “digital rebellion” of creative professionals in the U.S.

Media Wages War On AI

CNN reported in August 2023 that various media companies have joined the fight against AI when OpenAI started “scanning their platforms for content” through its GPTBot, a web crawler.
They have already employed measures to protect their archives and digital contents.
These companies include:
ABC NewsGothamist
AxiosHearst
BloombergReuters
CNNThe Atlantic
Condé NastThe New York Times
DisneyThe Washington Post
ESPNVox Media
In his article published by Scientific American in December 2022, Gary Marcus acknowledged ChatGPT’s incredible usefulness and ease of use.
Still, he described it as “potentially dangerous.”
Marcus, an American psychologist, cognitive scientist, author, and AI researcher, wrote:
Like it or not, these models are here to stay, and they are almost certain to flood society with a tidal wave of misinformation.- Gary Marcus
If that’s the case, then the fight against AI will be pursued further.

People Also Ask

How Is AI Making Humans Lazy?

Adopting and depending on AI can negatively affect the education sectorin the long run by making teachers and students lazy and poor decision makers.
That’s according to a 2023 study published by the peer-reviewed journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications and republished online by Nature.com in June.
The study said that an increase in the use of AI technology will prevent people from exerting much effort to think, which eventually leads to laziness.

Will AI Destroy Creativity?

For AI and Big Data expert and author Bernard Marr, in his May 2023 article for Raconteur, artificial intelligence helps people - artists, in particular - to enhance their capabilities and become more creative.
American sociologist and renowned scholar Brian Uzzi expresses a different view and asks society to think twice.
In his Forbes article republished by Kellogg Insight in May 2023, Uzzi reminded the public about the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, and the role of AI behind it.

Which Country Is Against AI?

Countries have already joined the fight against AI.
India Today reported in April 2023 that the following countries banned ChatGPT:
ChinaNorth Korea
CubaRussia
IranSyria

Final Thoughts

The fight against AI is not just a technological struggle.
It is a battle for the very essence of what it means to be human in an age where machines are becoming increasingly intelligent.
This battle is also not one fought with conventional weapons.
Rather, it’s fought with ethics and governance. Plus, finding a balance between human ingenuity and facing the potential consequences of creating sentient machines.
In our fight against AI, we will seek to understand the interplay between innovation and responsibility, and the profound impact it has on our present and the uncertain terrain of our future.
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