Is AI an Existential Threat to Humanity? The Answer: Maybe

Is AI an Existential Threat to Humanity? The Answer: Maybe

Artificial intelligence is a hot-button issue in today’s business technology landscape, and for good reason. It’s being implemented in various software tools and platforms with mixed results. Lots of questions come up in discussions, the main one being, “Is AI a threat?” There are some concerns over it, particularly in regard to intellectual property, but there are also major issues with it related to “the profound risks to society and humanity,” according to an open letter.

An Open Letter Calls for a Pause on AI Development

With tens of thousands of signatures, the short letter cautioned against the unfettered growth of AI without a greater appreciation of the potential outcomes.

There are many reasons why people are concerned, including the present, short-term, and long-term ramifications of the continued development of AI programs.

Misinformation is a Short-Term Issue

Generative AI uses already existing content in its creation, meaning that it can also call upon information that is blatantly false, leading to the perpetuation of it. Considering how many people rely on the Internet for answers to their important questions, well, AI could only make it worse by showing the wrong answers. These falsehoods can even be made more convincing by the use of AI.

While that may not be viewed as AI as a threat, developers could even use AI to spread misinformation intentionally, which is a serious problem that has many concerned.

Job Loss Could Become a Problem, Too

Some technology experts also believe that AI could lead to many employees losing their jobs due to their work becoming obsolete. Knowledge-based careers require more practical skills than AI can replicate, but other roles could be entirely eliminated as a result of advancing AI.

Long-Term AI Could Pose an “Existential Risk” to Humanity

While this might sound like an extreme stance, it’s one that is becoming more popular thanks to the Future of Life Institute, an organization that tries to predict “existential risks to humanity.” AI could disrupt the future if it can learn to write its own code, and the Future of Life Institute outlines how this could be problematic in its open letter.

Likewise, the Center for AI Safety has collected signatures in support of their own brief statement:

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Just Predictions at the Moment, but AI is a Challenge to Address

AI certainly seems to be a controversial technological advancement, but this is usually what happens when new and exciting things are developed. Only time will tell if AI becomes truly problematic for the business world or if it will just become another tool in our toolboxes.

To learn more about other technology and how it can improve your operations, be sure to contact Symmetric IT Group at 813-749-0895.

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