Artificial Intelligence too powerful? It’s a tool.

published: 04.05.2023

One day, artificial intelligence (AI) will become truly powerful. That’s when it will start learning completely on its own, without any help. However, today it’s not as strong as some users fascinated with chat might think. AI is a tool, just as powerful as gene modification. How do we use it wisely?

AI is declining by all cases due to the growing popularity of widely-used tools such as chatbots. With its potential to revolutionize many areas of life, improve efficiency, and ease of use, AI is undoubtedly a powerful technology. Great power comes with great responsibility. While some constantly push the boundaries of AI capabilities, others advocate considering whether there are limits to how much power we should give to technology.

Privacy and artificial intelligence. Some are jumping to conclusions.

These doubts have their basis in what AI actually is. After all, it has to simulate or pretend to have human intelligence. AI also needs to understand natural language, as “ordinary users” understand it when using chatbots, which have become so popular lately. The widespread use of such a tool is a good opportunity to question its boundaries.

The Italian Data Protection Authority ordered the blocking of the famous Chat-GPT. In his view, the European Directive on the Protection of Personal Data was abused. OpenAI, the chat’s creator, gave a pretext for this. At the end of March, some users could see another active user’s data: name and surname, email address, payment address, the last four digits of the credit card number, and the expiration date of the credit card.

Is this a mistake, or just a teething problem? The violation of GDPR does not apply to artificial intelligence as an algorithm. The portal serving users failed. However, the Italian case drew attention to something crucial. By using a tool like a chatbot, we enter data into the algorithm. However, we do not have sufficient feedback on what is happening with what we are asking artificial intelligence. That’s why, among other things, Elon Musk advocated that the entire machinery should stop for six months. To develop clear rules for data transfer. This warning does not concern one tool alone. It is more of a warning against the unpredictable consequences of the race to create increasingly powerful AI models. Musk, who invested $100 million in OpenAI years ago, today, as we can see, has doubts.

AI and genetics: no ethics, no progress

The situation with artificial intelligence is reminiscent of what happened in the 1960s and 1970s when we discovered the power of gene modification. At that time, scientists also argued – from today’s perspective, rightly so – that clear ethical principles must be established first. As humanity, we wanted to understand what would happen and what effect the tool we created could bring.

This ethics is needed now for a crucial reason. Artificial intelligence is not a new tool after all. As long as this technology was under the glass cloche of laboratories, as long as it lacked the power to reach the masses, we were not too worried. But today, an important boundary has already been crossed. We are already talking about the widespread adaptation of a tool that draws on data that we do not always have control over.

Fear of AI, of course, has some limits. No one is afraid that an algorithm that suggests to us what movie we will like on a streaming platform will suddenly be turned off for fear of privacy. Nor the one that operates in our mailbox to sort messages into more or less important ones. However, when it turned out that artificial intelligence can be spoken to like a human being, fears arose. When the discussion broke out about whether, whom, and when artificial intelligence can replace, some people were frightened. And all because 100 million people started using this powerful tool. And sharing their data.

One in four Polish employees realizes that automation speeds up work

The popularity of AI is a good opportunity to raise public awareness that a popular chat is actually an automaton. And already one in four Polish employees notices that automation and robotization mean speeding up work. Within a year, this awareness has increased significantly – by seven percentage points.

However, does this mean that entire industries must prepare for massive layoffs? Before anyone starts packing their desk, it is worth realizing that the mass change that AI will stand for will require social acceptance. Serious cultural changes would have to take place. AI is more likely to be used as another tool. And like any other, it can be used primarily to extract our creative potential. Artificial intelligence will play a supportive role for a long time. It will take some time before we give up our sovereignty in decision-making.

Artificial intelligence is not a world from science fiction.

We can defend ourselves against it. However, before we start fearing automation, let’s remember that we can defend ourselves against it. According to the Polish Labor Market Barometer, half of the respondents believe that an effective method to deal with automation is to improve their skills. It’s also worth developing what supports creativity in us. Algorithms, by their nature, are used to replicate what has already been created, or to systematize knowledge. When we demonstrate that we can use AI to do something better and faster, we will surely gain from it, rather than artificial intelligence. It’s important that it remains a controlled tool, rather than one that is self-controlling.

Artificial intelligence will become even more powerful one day. It will begin to learn entirely on its own. We cannot predict today what an artificial mind will really be capable of. We have taken a risk, but we have already taken such risks before. One day, we replaced a typewriter with a computerized text editor. Does anyone ask a writer today: Hey, did you write this on a typewriter or a computer? The tool is much less important than the result.




author: Piotr Aftewicz, Head of Delivery at Awareson, Robert Kędzierski, technology and business journalist

published: 04.05.2023

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