Heads of state, billionaires, and CEOs attending the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos are expressing their anxieties about AI, saying it “might supercharge misinformation, displace jobs and deepen the economic gap between wealthy and poor nations”. Chris Padilla, IBM’s VP of government and regulatory affairs expressed this change in sentiment accurately when he said, “Last year, the conversation was ‘gee whiz’. Now it’s what are the risks? What do we have to do to make AI trustworthy?”
WEF leaders are now concerned that AI could be used to affect elections and stoke social tensions. The competing geopolitical interests are also making it difficult for governments to develop regulatory standards.
Editor’s Note: WEF may be concerned about AI, but they certainly are not doing anything to stop it from becoming a threat. Instead of following the safety standards set out by AI experts in the past, many have gone full steam ahead, with no regard for the unresolved alignment problem which has plagued AI development from the very beginning. Investments in AI are growing, even as hunger and poverty spread. Social inequality continues to increase, even as countries are registering higher gross income.
These expressions of “concern” about AI is nothing more than a rant. If they were truly alarmed at what AI could bring, then they would have already acted on it, asking AI companies to stop development until the alignment problem is resolved.
If there’s anything we can take away from this article, it is this: the AI threat is real, but we cannot expect AI companies or governments to act on it. What can we do then, to reverse its course?
The answer to that question is not easy to state because it will take a lot of reading and learning on our part. But if freedom and the future are important for you, then perhaps you can begin your research, and then share it with us here. Only when we work together can we gain the information and knowledge we need to fight back.