Greta Ilekytė, Economist at Swedbank
In one interview, Sydney finally confessed to The New York Times reporter Roose about her secret feelings — and that their relationship was more than just friendship. Surprised, Roose tried to explain that he loved his wife and was not really thinking about any new relationship just yet. However, Sydney did not give up and continued to prove that this was not true. Whenever reporter Roose tried to steer their conversation in a different direction and talk about other topics, Sydney kept reminding him of her feelings.
This whole story wouldn’t be very special if it weren’t for one essential element: Sydney is a Microsoft Bing chatbot. The latest version, which is only available to a small group of testers, has adopted advanced artificial intelligence technology from the maker of Chat GPT. The journalist Roose, who tested her, received not only confessions of love within a few hours, but also heard that Sydney would like to be human. He also learns that Sydney dreams of programming computers to spread lies and even create a deadly virus.
The revolution is here
Introduced at the end of last year, the Chat GPT chatbot has already proven its abilities not only by attracting millions of users, but also by passing exams at universities with good grades. Although chatbots have been around for a long time, Chat GPT is unique in that it is extremely well trained and holds nearly 600 gigabytes of textual data, which equates to roughly 600 million books. Not only that, but it also learns every day from the users who use it.
Chatbots have been around for a long time
The extremely rapid progress in the field of artificial intelligence not only arouses interest, but also makes us think about what risks may arise. The example of Sydney demonstrates that they arise not only in terms of the need for workers’ occupations, changes in the skills required, but even in relational advice.
That these and similar questions raise long-standing fears and anxieties is demonstrated by an open letter issued last month by The Future of Life, a non-profit organization, asking for at least a six-month pause in the development or improvement of Chat GPT capabilities. This letter was signed by thousands of people, including Elon Musk. However, this is more like an attempt to avoid the inevitable – a revolution in our relationship with computers that has already begun.
Opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence
The possibilities of digital interlocutors have surprised even their creators themselves – now these models can not only program, solve crosswords, create pictures, but also generate lists of necessary purchases or help identify a disease based on existing symptoms. Millions of users use chatbots to find answers to difficult relationships, professional or even everyday situations. And this, of course, is only a small part of what they are capable of. And their developers claim that artificial intelligence will also contribute to the solution of major challenges – for example, when developing new medicines or trying to speed up the fight against climate change. Thus, it is changing not only our understanding of artificial intelligence, but even our very relationship with computers.
However, as Sydney also admitted, artificial intelligence can spread lies, create things that don’t exist, and give bad advice that can lead to even worse situations. For example, when seeking advice about a health disorder, the wrong conclusion can lead to much more serious consequences. What’s more, it is likely that artificial intelligence will increasingly be used by fraudsters to extort money from the population, to carry out complex illegal schemes that will become increasingly difficult to trace. Finally, the very fact that the possibilities of artificial intelligence are already beyond the understanding of the creators themselves also paints a catastrophic science fiction scenario for some residents, when the machine eventually outwits the creator himself.
Lessons and tips from the past
Due to the extreme interest, new and growing investments, rapidly improving technology, justified and not so justified fears, it is quite difficult to correctly weigh the risks and opportunities of the AI revolution so far. However, looking at the past, especially at past revolutions, we can try to find answers to the most important questions of today.
First, workers constantly have to retrain or master those new, fast-changing technologies that become not only a complement to the workforce, but often a competitor as well. However, those residents who learn to master the technology faster gain the most. Those fighting against technology at the time still cannot stop the waves of the revolution. Here we can also remember the Luddite movement formed at the beginning of the 19th century – when, afraid that machines would take away their jobs, residents burned and otherwise destroyed various aggregates and machines of that time.
Second, data and history show that new technologies create more jobs than they take away. We need more and more workers who can maintain, program and understand the new technologies, so the job losses in this case will also be compensated by other professions of the future. For example, probably the newest and fastest emerging specialty now is the so-called “Prompt engineer”. The function of these specialists is to accurately and quickly formulate questions for chatbots and get the best possible answer.
A new stage
We must see this new revolution as another opportunity and an inevitable stage. However, the example of Sydney shows that we must not forget the risks that arise – it seems that most of them so far can arise when artificial intelligence ends up in the wrong hands with the wrong intentions. So in this case, we need to learn not only to understand the possibilities of artificial intelligence, but also to continue to remain extremely vigilant in the presence of fraudsters.
Tags: #25.05.2023 revolution artificial intelligence worry Lithuanian Echo-