The Risk of Growing AI

8 Min Read

The growth of AI is filled with possibilities and opportunities for enhancing our lives and making daily tasks like work more manageable and our sources of entertainment more engaging and enjoyable. The catch, however, is that the growth of AI also comes with risks that can have far-reaching consequences.

Since AI already impacts many things in our lives, being aware of these risks is essential for proactively responding to them. If you’re wondering what some of the risks that AI presents to individuals and society are, read on.

Job Losses

As AI develops, it has more and more potential to replace people’s jobs. In fact, job losses attributed to AI have already begun. Organizations like Buzzfeed, as one example, have reduced their employee count in favor of AI tools.

The range of jobs this technology can replace is vast. From blue-collar to white-collar jobs, AI has the potential to completely alter the job market. Its technical ability to carry out manufacturing tasks (with no breaks, time off, or workers’ rights needed), automate tasks, and generate projects and content (like coding and written content) will put workers from all industries and pay grades on the line.

Some argue that AI will end up creating more jobs than it replaces. This may be true; however, many of the potential new jobs discussed or highlighted in these arguments involve a high level of education, such as machine learning engineers, AI ethics specialists, cybersecurity, or data scientists, further growing socioeconomic disparities.

Lack of Transparency

How AI technology works is complex and hard to understand, and this creates a system that makes it difficult to trust, audit, or hold accountable – after all, how can you check to ensure a system is running fairly or accurately if you don’t even know how the system is making decisions? This has led to calls for more regulation and security around AI transparency and ethics.

Deepfakes and Misinformation

AI offers the ability to create a range of material like deepfake videos, images, or audio, which, in the wrong hands, can be used to spread convincing misinformation that can harm people’s safety and well-being as well as threaten democracy.

When misinformation is paired with AI algorithms of social media platforms, it creates an “echo chamber” in which you only hear opinions of the same type or that you might agree with. This makes it more challenging to separate fact from fiction and makes it easier for misinformation to impact our decision-making processes for everything from what to buy to who to vote for.

AI Biases

People have biases, and since people have created, trained, and fed information to AI programs, AI has also exhibited biases. This means that AI holds the potential to reinforce and further perpetuate biases and cause harm to marginalized groups.

For instance, AI used for hiring purposes has unintentionally favored men’s resumes over women’s. When it comes to healthcare, the existing lack of research on women and people of color is further punctuated by the inaccuracies of AI diagnostic tools for these groups.

The concerns of biases in AI have, understandably and very reasonably, been met with calls for developing and investing in methods to remove biases. While efforts have been made to help limit these biases, there’s still a long way to go.

Privacy and Security Risks

When it comes to technology, privacy has been a concern for a long time, so it seems natural that it continues to be the case with the rise of AI. AI systems access our personal data to operate, and there are fears that this could infringe on our privacy.

Similar to privacy concerns, there are growing security concerns relating to increased and more sophisticated cyber-attacks that can have a vast range of targets varying from individuals to entire organizations. AI has made it easier for cyber attackers to create highly convincing scams and phishing schemes or to develop harmful malware.

Centralized Power and Control

Only a handful of tech companies are involved in the development and release of AI tools. In other words, a great deal of power and control is falling into a very small number of hands. This adds to the worries around growing social and economic gaps.

Loss of Control

The idea of AI risks and dangers brings to mind the dystopian plot lines of movies like iRobot or Ex Machina. In these stories, we watch people lose control over the robotic AI technology they’ve developed, which plays on our fears and imaginations.

But the real-world risks of losing control of AI are not so theatrical or apocalyptic in nature. Instead, as Kari Paul’s article in The Guardian puts it, “the fallout from powerful AI will be less a nuclear bomb and more a creeping deterioration of society.” This “deterioration of society” would result from not acting on concerns and allowing rampant misinformation and misuse to become the norm.

Most tech experts feel that the possibilities AI opens up to humanity bring a lot of potential for good rather than a loss of control or a doomsday scenario.

Is the Growth of AI the End of the World as We Know it?

It’s safe to say that the growth of AI will impact our lives irreversibly just like every new major technological advancement has. AI has the potential to change how we do many things, from how we work to how we approach online casino privacy and quick casino payouts.

So, odds are, yes, AI will change the world as we know it, the same way the rise of smartphones, the internet, and social media have.

But even though there are risks associated with AI, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. We’re aware of the potential risks and dangers this technology poses, which means we can work towards mitigating them – ideally, proactively – with regulations and policies to protect people’s best interests.

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