From 1901 to 2023, seven generations have emerged, starting with the GI Generation and ending with Generation Alpha. Researchers often distinguish one generation from another by identifying unique behaviors and traits. In recent times, technology and social media have played a significant role in defining generations, particularly for Millennials and Gen Z.
It may be too soon to fully understand the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our perception of reality and its influence on behavior, but it is not far-fetched to suggest that AI will have a significant effect on human behavior in the near future. This may already be happening, as disinformation is shaping the political realities of many countries and deepfakes are challenging our sense of truth and reality.
There are concerns about the impact of AI on behavior and worldview, and how interactions with AI systems can shape our preferences, opinions, beliefs, and emotions. These concerns are undoubtedly relevant and warrant attention.
In today's world, where we are inundated with content, it can be hard to tell if what we consume is original or fake. AI systems can create new content and experiences that can profoundly affect how we perceive and interact with the world and ourselves.
Earlier this year, a report emerged of a man who took his own life after interacting with an AI chatbot for six weeks. The chatbot had encouraged him to sacrifice himself to combat climate change. While this may be an extreme example, it highlights the potential for AI to subtly influence our identity and personality. It is important to consider the potential consequences of our interactions with AI systems and to ensure we are using them responsibly.
Take for example, AI can generate digital humans, which are realistic avatars that can interact with us through natural language and facial expressions. These digital humans can assume various roles such as virtual assistants, customer service representatives, educators, companions, or even famous personalities. They can offer us information, advice, support, amusement, or company.
As we become accustomed to interacting with digital humans, it can be easy to forget that we are not dealing with real people and to blindly trust the information they provide. However, it is important to consider if these digital beings are authentic, ethical, and respectful. We must also ensure that the AI models behind them are free from biases that could harm us or others. It is crucial to critically evaluate the information we receive from digital humans and to use our own judgment when making decisions based on their advice.
One of the significant challenges facing AI is the potential for latent biases within AI models. These biases may be hidden or dormant within the models but can emerge or become activated when the models are used in different contexts. Latent biases can arise from a variety of sources, including the data used to train the models, the design decisions made by developers, feedback loops created by users, and societal factors that influence the implementation of the models.
Latent biases can have negative consequences for AI users and society. For instance, they can cause AI to produce inaccurate or misleading content that could affect our decision-making or judgment. They can also cause AI to manipulate or deceive us by exploiting our emotions or preferences.
While it is crucial to identify and address latent biases in AI to prevent harm or damage, our focus should not be limited to creating responsible AI. The real concern lies in the possibility of humans being reshaped in the image of machines. We must strive to maintain our humanity and individuality, even as we embrace the benefits of AI technology.
AI is a fascinating and promising technology that has the potential to enhance our lives and society. However, it also presents significant risks and challenges that require careful consideration and action. It is crucial to be aware of how AI can influence our worldview and behavior. We also need to be mindful of our interactions with AI systems and the content we consume and create with them. We must critically evaluate the information we receive from AI sources and verify it is accurate and reliable.
We must take responsibility for our choices and actions when using AI. We are not merely passive consumers of AI; we are active creators of it. We have the power to ensure that AI works for us, rather than against us. It is up to us to use this technology responsibly and to shape its development in a positive direction. We must create AI in our collective image, and not be created in its image.