Tech leaders of the world are almost wetting their pants fearing possible malicious use of AI in the near future; now, imagine what will befall the rest of us?
How will we respond when we finally understand the fears harbored inside the uncomfortable narrative of AI and other technologies, which suggest inviting a cruel future where machines will dominate us (like what the black mirror insinuates)?
Fortunately, at the time of writing this piece, headlines all over are talking about how the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wants to regulate online tech giants to keep them from weaponizing upcoming inventions.
Dangerous Technologies Can Spread Through the Web
Well, let’s first agree, there is really no dangerous techs or AI to be particular. Researchers agree that what we have are bad guys who without hesitations would want to use machine intelligence against humanity.
Telling it like it is; the father of WWW, in his recent letter puts it clear that a dystopian future, where machines will manipulate us is inevitable if control is not taken now! “Proof is there, we’ve seen trends on social platforms where fake Facebook and Twitter accounts were used to influence the outcome of elections, there have also been claims of personal data being stolen by bots and so on,” Lee said.
An analysis shows that these loopholes may have resulted from the fact that, as it is, a few tech giants control the internet. They decide what people read, watch and write. Initially, the web used to be a hub of rich websites and blogs but now it has turned to a few pages of information dominated by a few tech giants.
Is there a Hidden Side to Controlling the WWW?
Looking at the nature of information people can access through the internet, it’s clear that the web has revealed the nature of humanity. Over 3.5 billion people are said to be online which accounts to half of the world’s population, and it’s no secret that to some point the platform has been the source of human woes; talk of crimes planned online, election fraud, cyberbullying which lead to suicides and so on…
However, a centralized web would rise even more complains and might not be really that possible to control so far. Now, assume AI is not controlled and it matures to the level of the World Wide Web.
AI Related Concerns
To be precise like we’ve seen the web being used to better and endanger people’s lives, AI has the potential to transform the word for good or for worst. In fact, Elon Musk together with other experts has been on the frontline to explain the dangers of AI citing that he has had access to the best and worst of what artificial intelligence can do. “AI possesses greater danger than nukes and its not been regulated,” he said.
However looking at it from another perspective, AI can be used as a tool to protect human existence in terms of enhancing food security. Current analysis of birthrate shows that by the year 2055 the world’s population will have hit an 11 billion mark, and experts are worried about how it would be possible to feed the 3 billion people added to our current population of 7b people, maybe AI should answer that.
Is There Hope?
Well, that again will depend on the angle one takes, some people liken AI to a case where a young boy is playing with a killer grenade not knowing when it will scatter his brains, at the explosion.
On the other hands, if you look at it with a realistic perception, AI is not, and I repeat is not the bad guy, it depends on the mind behind it. Yes, intelligent robots can take away human jobs but, let’s not forget it is the same humans that make such robots, as in, it’s about either using the tech to build or undermine man’s existence.
In other words, humans are the precise threat to humanity, not AI or other related technologies. A case in point is how within 24 hours of launch people turned Tay, Microsoft’s Twitter chatbot into a racism tool. Let’s also remember that vices like cyber attacks, cyberbullying and the rest result from human action.