The headline of this Fortune article about AI – 37% of Tech Experts Worry Artificial Intelligence Will Make Humanity Worse by 2030 – isn’t the whole story. A few paragraphs in, you get to this quote: “most experts, regardless of whether they are optimistic or not, expressed concerns about the long-term impact of these new tools on the essential elements of being human”.
So while the headline suggests that 73% of tech experts do not worry that AI will make humanity worse by 2030, there are obviously different kinds of concern in question.
A little later in the piece, we get to this quote from an expert: “We need to work aggressively to make sure technology matches our values.”
Aggressively? Wow. To me, that sounds like this guy is fearful things are going to run away from us and doesn’t know what to do about that. But the fact it, things almost certainly are going to run away from us around technological advances. We’re not going to clip the wings of innovation. That simply doesn’t work (and it’s probably why the Luddites are so renowned that they’ve become a byword for anti-technology mindsets).
What we can do is keep on emphasising the importance of very human qualities. Wherever the tech moves, we have to move with it, bringing all our empathy along with us. After all, AI is likely to help us in some wonderful ways. As the article suggests, it might help us “virtually eliminate global poverty, massively reduce disease and provide better education to almost everyone on the planet”. Rather than act “aggressively” to combat the less positive consequences of AI, let’s all try to act empathetically.