Summary: We should indeed be afraid — not of what AI might become, but of what it is now.
Original author and publication date: Daron Acemoglu – July 21, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: The new future is here and it seems we will not be the dominant group in the new future.
From the article:
Alarm over the rise of artificial intelligence tends to focus too much on some distant point in the future, when the world achieves Artificial General Intelligence. That is the moment when — as AI’s boosters dream — machines reach the ability to reason and perform at human or superhuman levels in most activities, including those that involve judgment, creativity and design.
AI detractors have focused on the potential danger to human civilization from a super-intelligence if it were to run amok. Such warnings have been sounded by tech entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Elon Musk, physicist Stephen Hawking and leading AI researcher Stuart Russell.
We should indeed be afraid — not of what AI might become, but of what it is now.
Almost all of the progress in artificial intelligence to date has little to do with the imagined Artificial General Intelligence; instead, it has concentrated on narrow tasks.
AI capabilities do not involve anything close to true reasoning. Still, the effects can be pernicious.
Narrow AI is already displacing workers. My research, with David Autor, Jonathon Hazell and Pascual Restrepo, finds that firms that increase their AI adoption by 1 percent reduce their hiring by approximately 1 percent. And of course narrow AI is powering new monitoring technologies used by corporations and governments — as with the surveillance state that Uyghurs live under in China. It is also being used in the U.S. justice system for bail decisions and, now increasingly, in sentencing. And it is warping public discourse on social media, hampering the functioning of modern democracies.