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AI is Not a Story of Tomorrow, AI is Today

The world our forefathers laid their footmarks upon is dramatically unfamiliar from the ones we presently walk on. While change is an everlasting phenomenon, the fantastical transformation of our current realm is spawning at an alarmingly accelerating rate; wherein many remain deprived of the passion to adapt. The obsolescence of CDs, the saturation of social media platforms, the deliberate receding quality of our phones aligning with our equally perishing health - this is our immortalized era of technological revolution.

AI is Not a Story of Tomorrow, AI is Today. AI Illustration. AI is dangerous artwork by Imperium Publication.

This era unfolded decades ago and may seem to have run its course; After all, what more can we do with technology? Albeit the reality is much different. Yielding the desuetude of technology is near impossible, for its invention marked the peak of human civilization, seemingly and hauntingly shadowing its end too. Technology has consumed every aspect of our lives; we, as individuals and as a collective, are entirely dependent on technology to run our everyday lives. We communicate and interact with phones, we learn languages and subjects buttressed by the internet, we run companies, governments, and militaries with tons of supercomputers and robots; today, the tech industry is as vital as the air we breathe (perhaps more important given the imminent and immediate collapse of society without technology, while the air remains invisible).

The industry is thriving, and its potent life is cultivating the avant-garde of technology into unimaginable bounds, a science we only experienced in fiction: Artificial Intelligence. At its core, the intention of AI is to emulate the behaviour and thought process akin to us average humans, but to continue eternally as machines. Just like us ordinary people, AI undergoes the absolute bliss of transitioning from a dependent child who need to be told what to do and how, into blossoming into an independent adult. Its perennial life cycle has three stages: Narrow Artificial Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and Artificial Superintelligence (ASI).

ANI technology is at its kindergarten stage. They require an input determined by the programmers to function any task; an ‘if this, then this’ equation. AGI technology acquires the abilities of a university student and can comprehend questions and produce effective answers, almost comparable to human capabilities. ASI technology is what we fear in movies - with superhuman capabilities and invincible in knowledge and power, independent from human commands and capable of performing on its own.

Advancements of AI has reached the AGI stage, with ground-breaking access to unabating information from the likes of ChatGPT, and shrinking the room for human error in medical diagnosis and surgery with surgery robots. While AGI has revolutionized human capabilities for good, these prospects are regrettably balanced with the harrowingly negative repercussions of introducing AI to a deeply flawed civilization.

In an ideal world, we could share belief in the ethical use of AI. Although, the power stemming from anonymity dispossesses any hope. In a society of skilled people without a morsel of empathy, AI will be utilized for nefarious purposes. The vast amount of personal data and information stored in AI-backed systems can be easily hacked, particularly by creating malwares able to bypass traditional security systems, enabling more sophisticated attacks transcending across borders and language barriers. The gross breach of privacy creates the path for blackmailing, theft, and piracy. In authoritarian states, surveillance of citizens, particularly dissidents, is expedited with the use of AI technology to review the political content online.

One of the most alarming cyber threats of today is the imminent transgressing use of Deepfake, an AI application. With Deepfake, even an individual incapable of working emails can exploit the voices, body, and faces of anyone without their consent to produce fallacious audios and videos. The deepfake threat caters to the worst of immoral ghouls. It will be used to disseminate political and scientific misinformation with fake videos of renowned politicians, scientists, and doctors, and demean the reputation and credibility of any individual by generating offensive or vulgar videos to harass them. Deepfake will be weaponized for revenge porn, or to fuel paedophilic content. And without regulations initiated by governments, who continue to fail to comprehend the gravity of the situation at the precipice of peril, all of this is technically legal.

The invention of automation robots powered by AI input eases production by a mile, but it comes at the colossal price of mass unemployment by negating the necessity of humans committing to the work. Jobs in customer service are replaced by self-checkout counters and humanoids, workers at the factories with industrialized robots, and even the entertainment field will soon be afflicted from AI-generated animations and Deepfake. While those at the top of the chain saves plenty of money, employees at the bottom will find their careers irrevocably obsolete.

Ultimately, these undeniable implications are dependent on human actions. What the experts fear is the exponential question of the viability of the concept of Technological Singularity, which they postulate will occur sooner than expected – in a few years. As AI surpasses human greatness by earning the ability to improve its technological limitations by itself, the evolution of AI escalates rapidly, leading to unpredictable shifts in human civilization as we know it; and none can assert in certainty whether these changes will transpire positively or negatively. AI will soon be able to reverse climate change, find a cure for cancer, accomplish world peace and global equality…or they may be less generous and wipe out humanity’s very existence instead.

There are endless possibilities with the untameable creation we created, but this is our inevitable future. With that in mind, here is to the wondrous future deluged in intractable AI-fuelled humans.


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