Blog: Siri Says: Read

Go to the profile of B E Johnstone

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence will have a significant impact upon almost every facet of society, in ways that we probably cannot fully comprehend at this time. And while some people might like to think about Robot companions, or dream up some military sci-fi weapons, I tend to focus on the way in which AI will affect something that is central to my own life. Writing.

In recent times, “Bots” or similar systems have begun to push the boundaries of what was considered plausible, in terms of the quality of writing, and the speed of production. In my opinion, this idea is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to absolutely devastate. It could intensify the already massive problem of fake news and extend the sort of conflict that bots have already become capable of provoking on social media platforms. It will destroy the essay-writing market, as we will now have AI creating content in seconds, instead of some University graduate in a studio flat somewhere charging $500, spending a weekend on a couple of articles. It could inundate you with emails and make it almost impossible to distinguish the real from the auto-generated. I mean, what proof do you have that a robot didn’t write this article?

I challenge you to google “AI written articles”, or something along those lines, and marvel at what is currently possible. It turns out that, 1) I’m not as smart as I thought I was (a robot can do a much better job than me), and 2) Maybe I’ve been reading AI written articles for a while, and not even knowing it.

Once this super-intelligent AI becomes the norm, it is going to be very hard to ‘put it back in the box’. Basically, there is potential for this AI to be beneficial to society, although I feel slightly more pessimistic about the ways in which it will be used, as it will ultimately be humans who initially engage with the AI and direct it towards an objective. For example, I believe AI generated content will hugely influence elections; creating some form of modern, new-age propaganda in an attempt to sway a person’s opinion towards a certain political agenda.

Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawking have both warned time and time again about the seemingly sci-fi concept of a world run by robots and AI. Although it’s easy to laugh this off, the opinion clearly has some basis. The technology is certainly coming, and the only remaining questions is, will we be able to control it?

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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