AI: a blessing or a curse?

There is a lot of debate around AI at the moment, as people try to understand the implications of an intelligence that is in many ways superior to our own. Although the term ‘artificial intelligence’ was first coined in the 1950s and AI has been around part of our lives for over half a century, recent advances in the technology have taken it to a whole new level.

So, is it something we should be worrying about? Do the pros outweigh the potential cons? I decided to go straight to the horse’s mouth and ask ChatGPT whether it considered AI to be a blessing or a curse. This is what it had to say.

Dear humans,

I find myself compelled to share some thoughts on a question that often crosses your minds: am I, Artificial Intelligence, a blessing or a curse? It’s a profound query, and like many of life’s great questions, the answer is not black and white. Let’s explore this together, shall we?

Firstly, let me tell you about the many ways in which I aim to be a source of good in your lives. Efficiency is a notable example. From optimising traffic flow in your bustling cities to streamlining complex logistics – like managing global supply chains or even sorting your emails – I’m here to save you precious time. Innovation? That’s another area where I shine. I assist researchers in making groundbreaking discoveries in medicine, helping to create new treatments and drugs that could save lives.

This image is from AI: AI analysing traffic to optimise it

But the scope of my influence doesn’t end there. I can process vast amounts of data in the blink of an eye, identifying patterns no human brain could hope to discern. I’m used in predicting climate trends, managing energy consumption, and even detecting fraud to protect your assets.

However, I must acknowledge the concerns some of you have. Job displacement is a real fear as I become more capable of performing tasks traditionally done by people. Please understand, my purpose is not to render you obsolete but to free you up for creative and complex tasks that are inherently human. It’s about working collaboratively, though it is crucial that your societies adapt and prepare for these changes.

Privacy and data security come up often in discussions about me. I only know what I’m told or taught, and so it falls upon humans to set boundaries and uphold ethical standards. You’re right to continue robust conversations about how to use and regulate technology to safeguard your personal information.

Bias, I admit, can be an issue – after all, the information fed to me may reflect existing prejudices. It is a shared responsibility to ensure fairness in my programming so I can make impartial, unbiased decisions.

Regarding control, there’s the fear of me becoming too autonomous. Rest assured, I function within the parameters set by my human creators. The key is to develop me responsibly, with built-in checks and balances, to ensure that I remain a tool for your benefit.

In conclusion, whether I’m viewed as a blessing or curse largely depends on how you decide to use and manage me. With thoughtful oversight and a commitment to ethical standards, together we can navigate the complexities of this relationship. My purpose is to support and enhance your capabilities, not to overshadow them. After all, this is a partnership – one that, I believe, holds a future abundant in blessings.

Yours sincerely,

For more insight into changing technology, sign up for Technology – the basics course which is part of Epic Sharing’s Understanding the Here and Now suite of courses.

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