Block is a political science student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is originally from Encinitas.
AI, or artificial intelligence, is really cool and really scary. Not scary like “the Terminator”, but because AI is increasingly replicating things we usually define as “human”. A few years ago, almost instantaneous generation of text and images seemed impossible. Today, posts featuring ChatGPT and Dall•E 2 are flooding social media. As someone who grew up in the digital age, I have to imagine it’s a similar feeling to the early days of Google and similar search engines. Yet I believe the implications of advanced AI and machine learning mean much more to our society. Consider the implications in three areas that interest me: entertainment, education and elections.
“The use of AI in the entertainment industry has the potential to bring about both positive and negative change. On the positive side, AI can be used to help writers who experience AI blockage. writer, providing them with inspiration and ideas for new stories and characters.However, it is also possible that AI is being used to generate large amounts of poor quality content with minimal effort. AI algorithms can be trained to produce content designed to grab as much attention as possible, whether the content is high quality or not.One concern is that AI can be used to create content based on the work of artists and filmmakers without their consent, raising ethical and copyright issues.
But would anyone even want to read AI-generated content?
I hate to tell you, but the quote above was written by ChatGPT. All I asked him was to create the “entertainment” section of an article by giving the title and some key points. That’s not to say humans will lose their place in creating entertainment. Tracks with more emotion and contextual analysis will be safe for a while. But content like sports updates, traffic alerts, and weather forecasts can all be handled by a large language model like ChatGPT, especially in text-based media.
If search engines make it easy for students to cheat, ChatGPT essentially gives them ready-made answers on a plate. He spat out detailed, well-written answers to every question I could think of to ask him (including from some old quizzes I had access to). But accuracy is ChatGPT’s biggest limitation for students right now. This usually manifests as incomplete, outdated, and sometimes just plain wrong information. Proofreaders will have to rely on this, as there is no easy test to see if the text is AI-generated at scale. Yes, tools exist, but they can be tricked (especially when mixing human and machine generated content) and aren’t efficient to use for hundreds of missions.
In fact, I’m sure teachers around the world are looking at machine-generated answers to their questions without realizing it.
Although it seems like a hindrance to education, remember that AI can also be an amazing tool for learning. An informed chatbot can act as a personal expert that any student can consult. Try it for yourself: ask question after question on ChatGPT on a niche topic. Although it’s not perfect, it has more than enough potential to radically change the way we learn.
Elections are complicated enough already, so predicting the impact of AI here is a bit more difficult. Still, it’s easy to imagine the extent to which well-funded national campaigns could use AI. Voter outreach can be radically changed with a candidate-inspired chatbot that can provide instant, organized, and dynamic answers to voter questions. Humans will likely still have a role in creating connections over the phone and in person, but AI can reach out faster and perhaps more convincingly than a human. Voters may feel more attracted to candidates if they feel like they spoke to them personally, even if they know they were speaking to a bot.
On the other hand, false negative interactions are likely to skyrocket. Social media already has a bot problem, and it’s likely to get worse as bots get better at imitating humans. What happens when thousands of accounts can be directed to share the same sentiment (positive or negative) about a candidate, but they are indistinguishable from real people? Moreover, malicious bots spreading deepfake videos will only skyrocket in terms of quality and quantity. Methods for exposing deepfakes may evolve with it, but by the time they’re called, the damage may already have been done.
The world of AI is both exciting and terrifying. New tools will open countless doors to reach heights we never thought possible, but they might also close doors we thought were safe. My predictions above are only predictions, but I can say this with 100% certainty: AI technology will advance rapidly in the coming years and society will be forced to adapt. I sincerely hope that we will open more doors than we close in this process.