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AI is Bad for Humanity: Is it true?

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Dear fellows,

In our present world the media is perceived as the source of information and truth. We have become lazy enough that we are no longer interested in checking the facts ourselves. The media, be it broadcast media or print media or social media, has made it easier to amplify any bias we have. Especially with the help of algorithms recommending channels that support our visions and beliefs, further strengthening our misconceptions and sending us through a rabbit hole of potential misinformation and disinformation.

Even though these contents are not published with an aim to strengthen the readers belief, algorithms simply recommend them because they understand nothing of the actual content and its implications. Algorithms and media might have to play a tricky game to keep their audience stay longer with the platform as theirs, and therefore they might have to catch the attention of the audience with what their audience wants to hear. But the issue is that at times the stories are not told from different perspectives. This could lead to a divide in the opinions of society. In this case, society as a whole, with the help of the media, has portrayed algorithms and machines that run them as a bad element.

As AI is the hot topic of interest, and the public are eager to listen to the narration of a monstrous AI taking over the human jobs and slowly our own planet, some media on the other hand has made it easier to amplifying this bias, quoting conveniently the opinions of influencers and prominent personalities out of context such as AI is bad for humanity. But we would like to take a closer look at these issues affecting AI and discuss them further.

AI might cause some threats, but all threats are manageable.

As with every technology, AI also has two sides. We at MI4People, are aware that AI can potentially cause some threats in the long run, especially due to the speed at which AI develops further and further while the legislations are not yet in place to prevent the harm. But we also strongly believe that clearly every upcoming threat by AI can be predicted or has been already predicted by AI experts, scientists, regulators, creative novelists, futurists, storytellers, etc. They all might not agree that an AI taking over the world is the worst possible scenario. Because on one hand technical experts could theoretically understand the potential of AI machines while on the other hand the creatives profit from their audience with a much grimmer version of the future. The fact is that one is fantasy and the other is reality.

As any organization explores the use of AI, they also recognize its true potential and can therefore control the capabilities by using it further and further by testing its limits. These controls can be regulated and supervised by governmental bodies. The implementation of a regulatory body with AI experts can therefore foresee, manage, and control these possible threats. It is also possible for regulatory bodies to control the production and sale of chips, processors, and GPUs that are required for AI computing, thus ensuring that powerful AI computation does not fall into the hands of potentially wrong people. It is also possible to establish a manual control over any AI entity ensuring that they can be turned off if things go awry.

An assurance of complete safety might not be available in the near future, but with time, tools and regulatory possibilities would catch up and make AI usage as safe as humans need, just like how we regulated witchcraft driven horseless carriage to be one of the most used and trusted modes of transportation.

AI hype and Public’s Bias

Since every media craves the attention of their target audience, they have to unfortunately use catchy headlines and clickbait, but the real issue is when some use fear invoking languages to talk about AI. It is human nature to follow more about scary news and be terrified about a dystopian future than to be interested in a world of possibilities. As content producers have to meet the expectations of the consumers, they might use tactics to manipulate the headlines while conveying the message in the whole story. But this could only negatively impact as most might not even be ready to read through the whole content.

As everyone rides the waves of AI hype, the media races against one another to publish the most fearsome news with the catchiest headline quoting a very specific line from someone working on AI related products or AI research or even who just had some connection with AI. Even though the whole news might focus on establishing that experts acknowledge that there is a possibility of harm by AI, there would be little to no focus on the simple fact that there can be measures to mitigate this risk. Even though reports and headlines like these can scare the public, media should also play a role in objectively investigating the issue and providing both sides of the story rather than amplify the bias. There are a few examples here, which once even though you read the headlines might portray some danger, they also provide some positive energy when researching about the whole story.

  • ‘The Godfather of A.I.’ Leaves Google and Warns of Danger Ahead - nytimes

  • Artificial intelligence could lead to extinction, experts warn - bbc

  • AI experts are increasingly afraid of what they’re creating - vox

Take a look at the above headlines from a google search. Do these headlines all seem to convey the same message? Are they trying to make it seem like AI is a Frankenstein? Consuming the opinions of some media from their half true headlines without diving deeper into the truth could be just as dangerous as the deepfakes and voice changing AI that are currently called threats to democracy. Even without AI, certain political systems were hugely influenced by media companies in critical events of their history, but were these organizations banned? Instead, we worked together to put measures in place to not repeat it and ensured that there were regulations and supervisory bodies to ensure the same. This is also possible in the case of AI tools. There are discussions and research on finding solutions to fix such problems using the help of AI itself or other technologies like blockchain.

It is also to be noted that AI can also be the culprit behind the spread of such bias. Because most current media agencies could be using the help of such AI techniques to analyze data, understand audience, predict trends and create content that helps them stand out to capture more attention. Furthermore, the media platforms usually use personalized algorithms to push the content to interested users. When we consider this aspect of AI, we could possibly partially blame AI itself for spreading this bias further. But what are the measures we could take to counteract this issue?

AI awareness and education

Since these threats are hard to observe, and understand, most AI experts believe in creating awareness and educating the population on AI related possibilities. But since creating awareness alone did not help in the past in cases of phishing emails and fake call scams, we highly recommend focusing on educating the population. We have already published a newsletter on the importance of education and creating a culture to living with AI. It clearly states why we need to live with AI, because that is the future, we are going to have no matter how much we ignore it.

It is understood that educating and making people aware is not a simple task. But our inconvenience to learn more about a technology and understand its possibilities or threats should not be stopping others from developing a better future with the help of AI. The possibilities of AI are vast to do good in the future. We might not be looking at it because our views are clouded by the views and noise of some media trying to establish that AI is bad for humanity. There are also cases where media companies have already started using AI avatars and creators for news reporting, editing and so on. If they are putting AI to the best use and stopping us from using AI for our development, it is just our loss. Because we could miss out on a lot of good and development. Since we discussed a lot about AI being threats and dangers, we would also like to show you the other side of AI. Which is what we believe in and helps to make use of #aiforgood.

AI for good

Just as we mentioned above that AI could also be the culprit of spreading bias, we try to see the good in AI and help it become better. Even though the tools we suggest below might not yet be available, we believe that it could possibly be a few of the ways in which bias of any kind could be counteracted upon, that too with the help of AI itself. We believe that when media outlets push any content that might have a certain bias to it, the platform should be responsible to let the audience know that they have been suggested these contents because the platform believes the audience could be biased about these topics as they have watched contents similar to it. It could also include certain filters that could show up to control the content that is recommended. It could be a scale with polarizing views and finding a neutral spot with the help of the filter using AI can be achieved easily with it to understand both sides and the neutral space. It cannot be harder for machines any longer as there are already AI tools available to analyze and classify contents.

Similarly, we believe in a lot of goodness that AI can bring out. Our mission at MI4People is simply to use AI for the good of the whole of humanity. We work so hard to make use of AI in the best possible ways to maximize the benefits to reach the most people. We lack a lot of resources but are supported by a few of the very best hearts trying to provide us with everything. Our mission is driven by the goodness we have seen in AI and the possibilities it holds. We feel bad that we cannot make enough use of AI for the good of the people, just because we are a small team of volunteers who work on their own times. We explore and discuss the vast possibilities of AI with our great mentors and ambassadors such as Manas Deb, Marc Haarmeier, Philipp Schwab, and many more. They guide us and provide us with support that keeps us motivated to work to the best of our abilities. We might be a small team but made stronger with the help of AI. We are able to contribute to a great number of causes including ocean protection, soil quality and food safety missions, assistance to senior citizens or people with special needs, so on and so forth. These are simply a very few of the missions that we are currently working on. The possibilities some other organizations have worked on vary from educating kids in the most remote areas to protecting vast areas of forests.

We work on everything we possibly can. We understand that there are numerous ways in which AI can get in the wrong hands and be used in the most harmful ways. But there are also numerous ways in which we could prevent and control that. We work hard to bring the best out of AI not just because we believe that AI can be for the good of the whole population. But because each and every one of our team strongly believes that we humans can be stronger together to support each other to bring the best to all. There is nothing stopping us from being the right users of AI and contributing greatly to this generation and the generations to come. We do not have to ignore the dangers of AI but acknowledging them only makes us better to work stronger against it. We can make use of AI and create a future that is more just and beautiful.

If we have aroused your interest in exploring AI for good, visit our page and check on the updates of each project. You could not only be a part of our wonderful volunteers but also contribute as a strong supporter of our mission. Your support in any form would help us grow further and spread the goodness wider. You could also simply follow our LinkedIn page and encourage us to work harder with your kind words. To keep updated on all our projects, do also listen to our upcoming podcast on AI for good. We are also here to listen to your questions and assist you with any doubts regarding the same.

Wishing you a wonderful day and hope to see you next time.

Your MI4People Team

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