Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Misuse of AI

One of the major concerns that people have expressed over the years with AI is the potential for misuse. There are many areas in which AI is proving to be very beneficial. At the same time, it has the potential to be used in a way that is beyond the ethical and moral issues we normally focus on.

It took less than six hours for a drug-developing AI to invent 40,000 potentially lethal molecules. Researchers put AI, normally used to search for helpful drugs, into a kind of “bad actor” mode to show how easily it could be abused at a biological arms control conference.[1]

Another example is how video footage and pictures captured without people’s knowledge are misused. There is recording everywhere now, and in some scenarios, when it is combined with AI has been used to collect information about individuals without their knowledge. If you use a smartphone, you know that every moment is already captured. The places you visited, the things you searched, and even your conversation are captured.  We all have a digital footprint, and daily it is increasing with the data we provide from our smartphones and smart devices.  

Many of us have encountered this problem of advertisements showing up on something we discussed with someone a few days ago.  These days I am tired of the Ads on YouTube pushing some political agenda. I normally see Ads that do not match my views. The same things have been repeated so often that, at times, I feel like it is similar to the technique used by some regimes to brainwash people by repetition.

In most cases, AI is used to achieve marketing goals. It is when it starts to manipulate and control people that it becomes an issue. We need to be careful, but we also need people who AI to be responsible and accountable. This is where I feel government regulations may help. The sad part of it is that many governments around the world itself are misusing AI to advance their agenda. It is a challenging issue to find a solution. An awareness of this issue would help us to be careful when we give out our private data to big companies with no second thought.  

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