Artificial intelligence (AI) is the technology that enables machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, reasoning, decision making, and creativity. AI has been advancing rapidly in recent years, thanks to the availability of large amounts of data, powerful computing resources, and innovative algorithms. AI has been applied to various domains and industries, such as healthcare, education, entertainment, finance, and security.
However, along with the benefits and opportunities that AI brings, there are also risks and challenges that need to be addressed. Some of these risks are similar to those posed by social media, which is another technology that has transformed the way people communicate, interact, and access information. Social media has enabled people to connect with each other across the globe, share their opinions and experiences, and participate in social movements and causes. However, social media has also been associated with negative effects, such as misinformation, polarization, cyberbullying, addiction, and privacy breaches.
Similarly, AI can pose similar risks as social media in 2023, such as:
• Misinformation: AI can be used to generate or manipulate information that is false or misleading, such as fake news, deepfakes, or synthetic media. These can be used to deceive or influence people’s beliefs, opinions, or behaviors. For example, AI can be used to create realistic videos or audio clips of celebrities or politicians saying or doing things that they never did. These can be used to spread rumors, propaganda, or hoaxes.
• Polarization: AI can be used to create or amplify echo chambers or filter bubbles that isolate people from diverse or opposing views. For example, AI can be used to personalize or recommend content or ads that match people’s preferences or biases. This can lead to confirmation bias, selective exposure, or groupthink. These can result in increased polarization, intolerance, or extremism.
• Cyberbullying: AI can be used to harass or harm people online through abusive or hateful messages or actions. For example, AI can be used to generate or automate insults, threats, or blackmails. These can be used to target people based on their identity, appearance, or behavior. These can cause psychological distress, anxiety, or depression.
• Addiction: AI can be used to create or enhance addictive features or behaviors that keep people hooked on digital devices or platforms. For example, AI can be used to design or optimize rewards, feedbacks, or notifications that stimulate people’s dopamine system. These can be used to exploit people’s curiosity, fear of missing out (FOMO), or social comparison. These can lead to compulsive usage, loss of control, or reduced well-being.
• Privacy: AI can be used to collect or analyze personal data without people’s consent or awareness. For example, AI can be used to track or infer people’s location, activity, emotion, personality, or preference. These can be used for surveillance, profiling, or targeting. These can violate people’s privacy rights, autonomy, or dignity.
These are some of the risks that rapid advancements in AI pose similar to social media in 2023. These risks need to be recognized and addressed by various stakeholders such as developers, regulators, users and society at large. There is a need for ethical principles and guidelines for responsible and trustworthy AI development and use. There is also a need for education and awareness for users and society on how to use AI safely and wisely.