In this article by Courtney Ngo, assistant professor at De La Salle University, she attempts to provide a balanced analysis of artificial intelligence – its benefits as well as the challenges we will face when it is utilized massively.
This article is no more than a repetition of the common AI discourse – that AI is but nothing more than machines that act based only on the parameters encoded by its human developers. Perhaps this is true today when most AI is narrow AI – those that perform only one function. But looking at the international trends, all AI companies, some backed by national governments, are gearing towards the development of an AI that has human-level intelligence – one that can learn through its own process of trial and error, and develop a language that is indecipherable to its human creators. The article also fails to consider the many moral and ethical biases in AI codes (yes, the “AI model is only as ethical as the person feeding the data”, so what happens if the moral codes of the developer are radically different from the moral codes of the bigger society?), the alignment problem, and at the minimum, the massive job loss AI implementation will leave in its wake.
In a world where moral codes are radically modified, and belief systems are becoming pragmatic, it is not enough to say: “People…must exercise judgment and critical thinking when deciding to follow a computer’s directive and analyze the results given by the computer before making any decisions”. Our societies are changing, how can we be sure that the result of one’s critical thinking is not going to be harmful to the rest of humanity?
Why it matters
One may say that Ngo’s point of view, as expressed in this article, is the point of view of most people in the Philippines regarding artificial intelligence. Perhaps it is because our technologies are so far behind that it’s difficult for us to picture a world of intelligent machines capable of overtaking the decisions of its human creators. Regardless of how we view AI in the country, we can be sure that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI or the human-level intelligence most AI developers are aiming for) is coming. And when it does come, in just a matter of days (if not hours!), the Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI, an intelligence a million times more advanced than the human brain) will not be too far behind.
Is our country ready for the arrival of AGI and ASI? What preparations are we making for this eventuality?
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