Why advancements in artificial intelligence could be dangerous

Why advancements in artificial intelligence could be dangerous

Aneeqa Meah, Opinions Writer

The idea of the world being taken over by computers one day seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. The computers in these types of films are essentially the bad guys that are “taking over the world” and need to be destroyed. Though there is a small potential of computers fitting into this role of the antagonist, artificial intelligence becoming dangerous is not a very far-fetched idea.

Some people may not know it, but Google is a type of artificial intelligence. The dictionary definition of artificial intelligence is the “development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.” But technology can only be programmed as far as human knowledge can get to.

Artificial intelligence being dangerous is not necessarily computers getting a mind of their own, but rather how far humans can go with this type of technology to hurt others. Stephen Hawks, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have all brought up how dangerous AI could become.

For example, autonomous weapons have the purpose of being programmed to kill. Bernard Marr in a Forbes article states, “Aside from being concerned that autonomous weapons might gain a ‘mind of their own,’ a more imminent concern is the dangers autonomous weapons might have with an individual or government that doesn’t value human life.” There is no shortage of people that would do anything to get what they want no matter the consequences. And these weapons could cause horrific damage. 

Social media is also monitored through autonomous algorithms. The harm with this is its way of using propaganda to individuals based on their algorithm on social media. Marr in his article also 

brings up the propaganda that was spread during the 2016 election using the “data from 50 million Facebook users” to make the election work in the favor of Cambridge Analytica. 

This also works in terms of fake social media personalities that are created with AI and which are almost undetectable. These accounts on various social media could also be used as a means of propaganda. Like deep fakes of celebrities or politicians to make it seem like they spouted some sort of offensive claim when in reality it was all made through AI. As further advances are made with AI, greater things could be impacted by its use. 

There is also no doubt that our information is out in the world, that once you put something there, it stays there forever. But how much of our privacy can become breached through the use of AI? According to Mike Thomas’ article on BuiltIn, China uses facial recognition softwares in many places.  As this type of technology advances, it could become more normalized and more people would end up having access to it. It would make it easy for anyone to get any information on you just by taking a picture of your face.

It can be argued that the good of artificial intelligence outweighs the bad. Though that is true, the dangers it can bring cannot exactly be ignored. So it is not to say that advances in artificial intelligence should stop completely because they are still going to occur regardless, but the consequences of it should still make people wary.