Artificial Intelligence: 4 Ways AI Will Transform Society

AI Technology

AI, once the domain of science fiction and research, has become an indispensable part of our lives, powering a wide range of applications, from recommendation algorithms to humanized chatbots like ChatGPT. In the coming years, experts predict that AI will become even more ubiquitous, with its impact felt in every industry.

“It’s hard to say where it won’t have an impact,” Judith Simon, a professor of ethics in information technology at the University of Hamburg, told DW.

What are the implications of delegating to machines more and more tasks that have traditionally required human intelligence?

Here are four ways that AI will reshape society.

Jobs: Automation arrives for knowledge workers

The most immediate effects for most will likely be felt in the workplace. In a new report, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts that up to 300 million jobs could be automated around the world, with advanced economies bearing the brunt of this change.

This impact differs from previous predictions. For years, experts anticipated that AI-powered robots would mostly replace low-skilled jobs, while jobs that required a lot of creativity and human knowledge were considered relatively safe.

It’s not like that. A new generation of “generative AI” systems like ChatGPT, LaMDA, or Midjourney can create compelling text, code, or images from scratch, and the initial impact in the workplace is becoming apparent. Law firms, the media, advertising agencies and other employers are already using AI in their work routines.

Although this increase in efficiency could reduce the total number of working hours, Simon is skeptical about it. “Technology, in general, has always been sold with the promise of reducing labor, and that has never happened,” he says.

Intellectual Property: Who owns AI creations?

The rise of “generative AI” will also force societies to rethink, and potentially rewrite, existing rules on “intellectual property.”

“It’s a very sensitive issue,” says Teemu Roos, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. AI systems like ChatGPT don’t create works out of thin air but rather learn by analyzing vast amounts of text, music, photos, paintings or videos that they find on the Internet, works by the very creators that AI threatens to replace.

Misinformation: the age of uncertainty

And the rise of technology capable of generating such compelling fake content is also raising even deeper concerns. As it will become increasingly difficult, and at some point nearly impossible, to distinguish between what is real and what is fake, experts are concerned that malicious actors could use this technology to amplify disinformation online.

Sam Altman himself – CEO of the technology company OpenAI, which developed systems such as ChatGPT and Dall-E – has warned that AI “could be used for large-scale disinformation.”

Automated decisions: What if the “computer says no”?

Finally, governments and companies are also increasingly using AI to automate decision-making processes with potentially life-altering consequences, such as deciding who gets a job, who is entitled to social benefits, or who gets out early from school. jail.

Current AI systems analyze large amounts of data to make predictions. That makes them very effective in certain areas. However, studies have also shown that they are likely to reproduce or exacerbate existing prejudice and discrimination if left unchecked.