You are constantly being bombarded with the term “Artificial Intelligence” or its acronym, “AI”. Most of the time, the term is couched as a modern marvel of human achievement. A way to have machines replace humans in mundane jobs that humans do not want to perform or jobs that are dangerous for humans to perform. Really? When you hear the term “Robotics”, you should also understand that the “robot” has a “brain” that is based on AI. But, you may not have thought through some of the other applications of AI or really how AI is being developed.
Starting with the latter, “how AI is developed”, it is critical to stop and think what creates AI? You are right, another human being.
- All human beings have a unique level of intelligence, some greater, some less;
- a unique level of critical thinking;
- a unique level of logical thinking;
- AND A UNIQUE SET OF INNATE BIASES BASED ON THAT INDIVIDUAL’S EXPERIENCES AND LEARNINGS.
- Then add in the Bias of the organization who employees these individuals.
These human beings have political, religious, and environmental views that may or may not be the same as yours or those you know and agree with. These human beings may believe that Republicans are bad and Democrats are bad; that Socialism is good and Capitalism is bad; that Climate Change is an eminent threat and deniers are dangerous. I could go on but the point is that AI is inherently flawed as it is being created by a human being with all of our flaws. That may be OK if the one creating it agrees with everything you do but odds are that is not the case.
Then add in the company they work for. This company has the biases and beliefs of its management. The management will ensure that the AI programmer adheres to the biases the company wants instilled into its AI. This is true for Google, Facebook, Twitter, and all other such companies.
Let’s look at real life examples of how AI is impacting your life now.
So, if you buy a cute little round vacuum cleaner that scurries around your house unattended and vacuums your carpets and floors, you never give a second thought as to whether the AI used in this cute little machine is good or bad, or has an agenda. (other than scaring the crap out of your cat or dog) When your new car issues a verbal or tone warning that you are too close to an object or starts to apply your brakes if you are getting within dangerous limits of an object, you probably think that is a good use of AI. Have you considered that this advanced AI automobile warning system is the first step to convincing you that self-driving cars are a good idea? Did anyone ask you whether you thought self-driving cars were a good or bad idea? Probably not.
Let’s take this to the next step that probably impacts your life, specifically your wallet, everyday to some degree. Most of us have savings or have an income or retirement plan based on the stock and financial markets. Did you know that stock, commodity, currency and other financial traders rely on AI to:
SCAN NEWS FEEDS AND DETERMINE THAT IF A NEWS ITEM, SUCH AS ON CHINA/US TRADE, MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACT A STOCK OR INDEX, THE AI BASED TRADING COMPUTER WILL ISSUE A SELL ORDER AND CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL IT “FEELS” THE THREAT HAS BEEN LIFTED OR OTHER NEWS NEGATES THE NEGATIVE NEWS. THE MARKET DOWNWARD MOVEMENT IS YET ANOTHER NEGATIVE NEWS ITEM AND MAY ACCENTUATE THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL.
Of course the trading companies are spared the risk that you now face as their computer will issue a hedge order to protect the trading companies’ positions. You probably cannot do this as you work for a living! Haven’t you wondered why at 9:00 AM you heard the stock market was up 100 points but when you turned on the nightly news the market closed down 350 Points! Just scan the news and you will find a news event that triggered the selloff.
Starting to get nervous about AI yet? You should be!
You may have heard lately that GOOGLE, yes that “free” search engine you use to find unbiased news or information on a specific person or topic, is engaged with Communist China in developing China’s AI. This is not for manufacturing cute, round, self-propelled vacuums. No, this is for MILITARY use. Why would a military use AI?
To have an AI computer determine the threat level of another country’s actions so that same computer could pre-emptively strike that country with conventional or nuclear weapons! Look ma, no hands!
Since this is a communist country, they want to turn AI on its citizens in order to control them. All social media posts, facial recognition systems, and all financial transactions are fed into their AI system in order to monitor, then “re-train” those exhibiting aberrant behavior!
You probably don’t think this is possible in a “free” society such as that of the US? Think again! I don’t wear a tin-hat but I can assure you that your phone calls, emails, texts, social media accounts and financial transactions are being recorded and monitored. If the NSA’s AI systems detect behavior by you that it deems “dangerous” to the State, Federal authorities will be alerted with or without a valid warrant.
A case in point is the recent “Russian Collusion” investigation that was started with a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant on specific individuals based on a completely false document (Steele Dossier) that was bought and paid for by a political party and that party’s candidate! The only difference between China and our government is that our government at least had to fabricate a document on which to base the warrant application, the Chinese would not go to this trouble! But, the outcome is the same.
When you hear pundits talk about “Algorithms”, understand this to mean merely an AI computer program created by a biased human being working for a biased company to insure a desired outcome. Rather than a human being sitting there watching you type in “I hate X”, the computer was told to watch you type and if the computer’s AI system doesn’t like what you type, the computer will warn you to stop or it may shut down your account! What is next, issuing an arrest warrant? Don’t laugh!
Why Politicians Like AI!
For one thing, politicians can blame the computer! Then they can blame the company who created the AI program/algorithm who in turn will say it was the fault of the algorithm. Then the company and the politicians can go out and have a drink and decide how big of a campaign contribution this is worth to make the controversy go away!
The there is the other side. Companies like to replace workers with AI/robots because AI/robots don’t take bathroom breaks, lunch breaks, time off for illness or childbirth, nor do they need benefits, vacations, or do they run to a union rep to file a complaint. AI is financed by the taxpayers who have to support all those replaced by AI. AI/robots reduce the operating costs for companies thus they can spend more on bribing politicians, I mean contribute to political campaigns, to look the other way or not ask embarrassing questions about the workers who were just laid off due to AI/robot automation!
So, the company’s profits go up; the politician gets greased; the employee loses his or her job; then the taxpayer has to support the laid off worker who is now on unemployment or welfare! Isn’t that just a wonderful system!
Probably the easiest job in the US to be replaced by AI/robots would be Congress. First of all, they have for centuries used their own kind of “artificial” intelligence; acted like robots with their hand out to anyone willing to pay them off; and are easily replaced! Most of all, no one would notice the difference!
So, don’t be naïve when you hear about AI. It is not artificial nor intelligent. It is absolutely real and malevolent and its intelligence is based on political religious and other biases found in the creator and their company’s management.
When you hear the words, AI, robots, or algorithms, listen carefully and get informed. We are now living at the speed of supercomputers. We could lose the battle before even knowing we were in a battle!