Fix the system for the brave new world

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Fix the system for the brave new world

Artificial intelligence is rapidly replacing human intelligence as if in a science-fiction movie. AI already exceeds humans in compiling necessary information to nicely organize a report. With adequate commands, it can instantly write up a poem or a novel and draw pictures.

Since the stunning debut by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, super AIs in various forms are being born from many parts of the world. The breed is fast evolving thanks to the rapid advance in computing and deep learning algorithms that remain a puzzle even for experts in the field. The evolution of AI has been even faster than what AI guru and futurist Ray Kurzweil had envisioned in his 2005 book “The Singularity is Near.”

As the saying goes, where there is light, there is shadow. In videos created by AI, “deepfakes” spread misinformation or disinformation fast. AI voice cloning is used by scammers to impersonate and deceive people to give away money or sensitive information.

How can one not fall for it if you get calls from a voice identical to your children or parents? AI can invade public computer systems to bring chaos to power grids and traffic infrastructure.

Experts have come to raise alarms about the fallouts and shocks caused by AI. Geoffrey Hinton, dubbed as the godfather of AI deep learning technology, quit his job at Google to warn people about the “profound risks to society and humanity.” He warned, “It is hard to see how you can prevent bad actors from using it for bad things.”

OpenAI Co-founder and Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk tweeted “Hinton knows what he’s talking about.” He had signed an open letter in March that called for a six-month pause on advanced AI system development, warning that heavy reliance on AI despite good intentions can be a threat to humanity.

AI advancements also calls for sweeping upgrades in laws and systems. There are a wide range of issues that need to be dealt with, including copyrights over AI creations, liability and compensation for self-driving vehicle accidents, not to mention tax payment.

AI is seen as a “destructive technology” that can bring about dramatic changes in innovations and human lives. We may become AI subjects if we do not ride on the AI-led seismic changes carefully. Companies are racing to make super AIs while universities are rushing to open AI graduate schools.

But Korea still lags far behind AI powerhouses like the U.S. and China. Through the concentration of national and social resources, we must build up consensus on how to upgrade our systems to meet the challenges for the brave new world.
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