/Reflecting on AI and Monoculturalism

Reflecting on AI and Monoculturalism

KEY IDEA: Does generative AI pose a threat to the rich tapestry of human expression? Are we on an inevitable path toward digital monoculturalism? 

Original author and publication date: Shelly Palmer – September 11, 2023

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Ir seems that the arrival of digital monoculturalism is unavoidable

From the article:   

This essay was written in the fall of 2016 and originally titled, “Digital Monoculturalism: Small Changes, Big Impact.” Considering how quickly generative AI content creation tools and copilots are being woven into the fabric of our lives, now would be a very good time to start thinking about what our human-created cultures truly mean to us.

While Waze leads us to our destinations via the quickest route, our dependence on this kind of decision support system may also be the quickest route to a monocultural society.

You’ve said the word “algorithm” a thousand times this year, and you may have even written out your algorithmic goals in English, but have you ever coded an algorithm?

Do you really know how any AI model is performing? What tiny mistakes (or purposeful small changes) are being made to subtly guide our decision-making?

Humans Are Incredibly Bad Decision-Makers
To make a good decision, you have to properly assess risk. Sadly, people almost always improperly assess risk. For example, you have a one in 11 million chance of being in a plane crash, but you have a one in 272 chance of being killed in a car accident on the way to the airport. You have a one in 20 million chance of being killed in a terrorist attack, but you have a one in 300 chance of being assaulted by a firearm. By the numbers, cars and guns are far more life threatening than planes and terrorists. So it should be easy to find people to advocate for spending cuts on anti-terrorist programs in favor of funding programs to reduce gun violence. But, without a clear understanding of the risks we face each day, our decisions are controlled by our hearts, not our heads.

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