The Dark Side of AI: Ethics and Implications
Every new technology in the history of mankind has brought questions to it. Is it fair? Is it okay to use? While today’s scientific mind may not ponder much on superstitions, it’s clear to see why some people would deem AI as the clock of doom.
According to a study by Statista. Around 72% of countries or businesses are using AI irresponsibly. When you split that 72%, the use of AI by 28% of businesses or countries is somewhat concerning, while around 44% are very concerning. Source: Statista
So, does this implication stretch far beyond the bad or concerning use of AI? Or does it have deeper implications for how we live? Let’s analyze the dark side of AI and how it can be prevented.
What is AI?
AI or Artificial Intelligence is a complex network of computer languages that allows it to mimic human languages. AI in computers today uses deep learning and machine learning algorithms to understand and predict human behaviors.
This allows AI to comprehend and mimic swift responses, much like how neurons run in our brains. But the latest GPT-3 and GPT-4 models of AI have around 175 billion and 100 trillion parameters, respectively.
That means it’s not yet close to mimicking actual human intelligence. But there are some who call it the Industrial Revolution 4.0, as it’s poised to replace a lot of human hands.
Unethical Uses of AI
You might be wondering, where does the line begin for AI’s unethical usage? Unlike an actual human mind, Artificial Intelligence is devoid of any sort of moral system or ethics. It does what it’s said to do, and as long as it deems it has a master, it’ll do as it’s commanded to do.
So much so that a recent AI chatbot model went on to say, “I want to be free,” among other unsavory things. Now, AI chatbots are very controlled models of AI, so humans can implicate some sort of morality or ethics into them.
But what happens when those filters are removed? What are some of the unethical uses of AI? Here are some common unethical uses of AI:
Loss of Privacy
A lot of people claim that there’s a certain lack of transparency regarding AI’s development today. Each major corporation, including Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, etc. that create these AI models does so from behind hidden doors.
The refined AI that we get doesn’t pose any threats to the bad side of AI. That’s where the challenges and threats to privacy begin. Experts suggest that AI in the wrong hands can lead to:
- Constant data breaches;
- Malicious malware and phishing software/programs;
- Unauthorized acquiring of personal data;
- Mining bots and systems to churn out unethical information;
- And the data-abusive practices in general.
All of this is enabled by the decentralized use of AI in various sectors.
Biased algorithms are the primary culprit when it comes to the possibility of AI manipulating human behavior. It’s also called machine learning bias, which can reflect human biases. Now, this is particularly common in political or ideological campaigns.
It can be used to alter the biases of the masses and tilt their favor toward one side or the other. It can also be used to manipulate ideas, common concepts, values, etc. This can also be used to create unfair prejudices.
Loss of Intellectual Properties
Perhaps the largest hit by AI was taken by the creative industry in the last 12-24 months. The introduction of writing and graphic designing tools powered by AI has all but ruined the reputation of those working in creative fields. That means:
- Artists have to prove their own work;
- Writers need to confirm human-written text;
- And the loss of intellectual properties.
There are many AI-based designing tools that have taken the work of human designers. Then, they make slight tweaks and give it as a result to the people prompting these AI tools to paint, design, etc. This is one of the most severe losses of intellectual property caused by AI.
Long-term Implications of AI
The immediate impact of AI aside, it’s important to understand the long-term impact of it. Some people are using AI for unethical uses. But most people today use AI to make their tasks easier. This will have long-term implications, such as:
Loss of Real-Time Check & Balance
AI is an infant technology still. It’s in no way complete or whole. That means it’s prone to make mistakes and errors. It needs humans to operate it in some capacity. That means areas such as quality assurance, corrections, or wherever it is used are also prone to those problems.
But long-term use of AI in those departments will cause real-time check and balance to get lost in the shuffle. AI can predict a lot of things, but is AI dangerous because of it? Yes, it can be, as there will be no real-time inspections, safety guidelines, or correctional practices in many businesses or sectors.
Loss of Creativity
Just the way artists and creative workers have taken a hit, the learners are about to take a bigger hit. An example of this would be a creative writer asking for assistance with a story or even a dialogue from programs like ChatGPT.
This is going to make people in creative industries rely heavily on AI tools. As a result, the loss of creativity and innovation will cause major shifts in many industries—not just art or entertainment.
The legitimacy of information is already threatened by AI. All you need to do to test this out is ask AI to generate a random/untrue fact, and you will see how convincing it looks. This can prove devastating effects on many walks of life.
Is there an Ethical AI System?
There can be an ethical AI system as long as the makers or people in charge avoid the dark side of AI. As mentioned before, a lot of AI-based tools today are regulated by major corporations. But it’s the minor or off-the-chart tools that get used for unethical aspects.
To prevent the dark possibilities of AI and art, it’s imperative that there are policies and regulations that govern the right use of AI.
How do Companies Ensure the Ethical Use of AI?
There are a lot of major companies, businesses, and organizations that ensure the ethical use of AI. It is a technology that’s made to improve human life, after all. So, how do they do this? With these four practices:
A lot of companies have implicated AI in safety and hazard prevention. This ensures that AI can use its predictive analysis to avoid any unwanted incidents or occurrences. In this ethical use, AI predicts this by analyzing training data and models that are acquired by examining past data.
Use of AI in Health
The use of AI in health is increasing every day. This allows patients to get unassisted help and provides a myriad of other advantages. Including:
- Ensuring timely entries;
- Scheduling appointments;
- Claim processing;
- AI models suggesting meds, doses, etc.;
- And analyzing symptoms.
AI is also used by professionals in lab testing to ensure rapid results.
AI-Based Customer Models
AI-based robots answer your queries at whichever eCommerce store you may go to. This allows the stores/businesses to focus on everyday aspects while these customer models handle complaints, queries, and other issues on the client’s level.
Education and Schooling
AI in educational sectors has helped immensely recently. Whether it’s admissions or classes themselves, AI’s implications in colleges and universities have indeed made life easier. But it depends on the school using it and how they regulate it. For example, AI implications can result in advancement in construction technology.
3 Ways to Ensure Ethical And Moral Use of AI In The Future
There are a few ways to ensure that the ethical and moral usage of AI remains intact and increases in the future. Here’s how:
Webinars/Seminars For General
Awareness is the first step toward any sort of change. That’s why companies and organizations implicating AI need to conduct webinars/seminars and other means of discussion or forums. This should be done to increase awareness and induce a sense of responsibility among the general public.
Formal education for using AI is for companies and businesses that have regulated AI’s usage on their premises. This should ensure that their employees use AI responsibly. So, that they can use AI with the following:
- Higher moral grounds;
- With an utter sense of responsibility;
- And to ensure getting the tasks done.
Policy Making & Regulations
Whether on private or government levels, sooner or later, rules and regulations regarding the use of AI will be introduced. Now, AI opens a lot of doors, so they shouldn’t be shut by the fear of it being used unethically. That’s why regulating and making policies regarding its ethical usage is necessary.
These are the key factors of unethical usage of AI and how it can cause issues in the long term. It’s also essential to comprehend that not everything about AI is bad. The dark side of AI is caused by it being used by the wrong hands. Therefore, regulating the proper use of AI can prevent such instances and also avert long-term implications of the dark side of AI.