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Artificial Intelligence - What Could Go Wrong?

July 9, 2024

Those who know me know I'm a tech geek and that I know a few things about software design. However, knowledge of software design is no prerequisite to having valid opinions on this subject.

Having said all that, the most dangerous thing to come down the pike recently is the increasing advancements in Artificial Intelligence development. It seems everyone these days involved in software developoment is either concentrating on AI, or they have an AI component to their project(s).

Now, AI has lots of positive posssibilities, from performing menial labor tasks, to highly advanced medical applications. One can take practically any industry or vocation and imagine a myriad of possibilities where AI could make a huge difference.

But, as with any advancement in technology, there are dangers that need to be considered. When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, the most prevalent danger is not one of Artificial Intelligence, but of the lack of Human Intelligence - or worse, the presence of Human ignorance or the much more dangerous Human depravity!

I know, I know - everyone points to The Terminator movie as the fear attached to AI, but the idea behind that movie wasn't wrong (although the time travel aspect is - and this statement comes from someone who's written two fictional books about time travel!). The dangers of what could happen if AI is released, either as a result of ignorance or mischief, in a way that could potentially do major damage to humanity or human systems is of enormous concern.

Add to that the simultaneous proliferation of IoT devices (the 'Internet of Things') that are being embedded in practically everything you buy, and the combination of IoT and AI gone wild is one of the most frightening things since we split the atom. While there are some who are trying to sound the alarm, the proliferation of AI is greatly outstripping the level of concern that AI run amuck could do major damage - and the government, as usual, is not only far behind the curve, but the politicians are, again as usual, clueless. Additionally, many of us (me included) are just as wary of government run amuck as we are of AI.

"SO," you say, "Mr. Smarty Pants - what are you proposing"? That's a good question. I guess I'm proposing that we need to question every single use of AI, and demand accountability and disclosure from any process or product where AI is a component. It's why I don't have any IoT-enabled appliances. I don't want anything that could be used to collect information or surviel my private activities, or worse, steal personal data. Make no mistake, every interaction you have with almost any electronic device these days collects information from and about you, usually to try to sell you something. But, many are now becoming aware of the dangers that are possible (maybe even probable) when governments collect massive amounts of information on individuals. The Chinese software productions, such as Tik-Tok and others, are already infamous for doing just such collections. As a matter of fact, if you work for the Federal Government in the United States, it is illegal to have the Tik-Tok app on any of your devices. AI has already been misused!

While these are things I'm concerned about, it may already be too late. I'm not saying an Arnold Swartzenegger-like android is going to show up at some point, but I do think it's interesting that the most popular operating system that drives these devices is called "Android", and was developed by Google - the most intrusive entity on the Internet.

Hmmm...I could be wrong about that Arnold thing....


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