Artificial intelligence (AI) has been at the forefront of discourse and debates surrounding the future of technology and, ultimately, the human race. AI is slowly integrating itself into every aspect of our lives, making us more efficient, and in some cases, obsolete.
The promise of productivity and convenience seems to come at the cost of transparency, jobs, privacy, and other issues surrounding the advancement of such technologies. This double-edged sword forces many to question the efficacy of AI and what it brings.
A recent study by Stanford concluded that the vast majority of AI companies do not disclose the amount of copyright materials their models leverage. This lack of transparency brings to light the potential bias AI can have, the lack of accountability, and many ethical issues these technologies entail.
AI and automation also threaten the displacement of many jobs. ChatGPT alone will likely replace hundreds of jobs in the future, including computer programmers, data analysts, graphic designers and more. In an already depleted economy, more people losing their jobs to AI will only compound the issue. The pervasive integration of AI into the workplace has already caused harm to the job market as, since 2000, automation systems have rendered approximately 1.7 million jobs obsolete and by 2030, up to 20 million manufacturing jobs could disappear.
Privacy is another issue brought upon us by the advancement of AI technology. In order to function, AI systems use extensive personal data, and because of this, the nature of the collection and analysis of this data has the potential to breach the privacy and security of its users. An example of this breach in privacy and security is facial recognition technology. This technology can not only track individuals but also monitor their movement and potentially leverage this data to access sensitive information with no consent at all.
When it comes to the advancement of AI, many ask if we can when they should be asking if we should. When considering our future and navigating the dynamic space of technological advancement, it is essential to strike a balance between efficiency, convenience and prioritizing transparency, jobs, and privacy. AI advancement presents many dangers and issues, but also an opportunity to define the best way to go about progress and innovation through an ethical lens.
Sports & Health Editor (Volume 50); Locked on Leafs Columnist (Volume 48 & 49) — Omar is in his final year at UTM, working towards completing a major in CCIT and double minors in Political Science and Anthropology. Omar loves to keep up with various sports teams, his favourite being the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he isn’t stressing over exams or the Leafs, you can find him watching movies, looking at shoes he can only hope to afford, and trying his best to avoid parking tickets on campus.