Life,  Tech

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and the Challenges it Poses to Human Society

   Since the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) was formally proposed at the Dartmouth College Summer Symposium in 1956, after more than 60 years of development, AI has grown from a baby to a teenager. The development of artificial intelligence has not been smooth sailing. Its first milestone progress was the IBM “Deep Blue” computer defeating the world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Since a major breakthrough in algorithms in 2006, artificial intelligence has developed at an exponential rate.
   As early as five years ago, the development of special-purpose artificial intelligence and general intelligence was still very uneven. The special-purpose artificial intelligence represented by AlphaGo has a single task, clear requirements, clear application, and simple modeling. It has achieved single-point breakthroughs in many fields, and its local intelligence level in Go playing, speech recognition, and medical diagnosis surpasses that of humans. However, with the emergence of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4, massive applications in just a few months have greatly trained general artificial intelligence. Potential is accelerated. Correspondingly, its wide application will also bring a series of challenges to human society in terms of laws and regulations, moral ethics, and social governance.
   Whether artificial intelligence is an “angel” or a “devil” has sparked heated discussions among all parties. Both the Polanyi Paradox and the Moravec Paradox support the optimist idea that much of human knowledge is hidden and cannot be written into computer instructions, especially when it comes to some of the most instinctive responses and tricks. Because people do not need to use intelligence in many times of life, how can artificial intelligence replace this part of physiological and social functions? Of course it’s unresolved right now.
   The pessimists envision many artificial intelligence social dilemmas that human beings may face in the future, and what is close at hand is the wave of unemployment where machines will replace labor. Every major scientific and technological revolution has changed the production division system of human society to a large extent. In the farming era, the ratio of labor to consumption was about 9:1, and in the industrial age it was roughly 1:1. Entering the era of artificial intelligence, most of the physical and mental work will be liberated, and the ratio of labor to consumption is about 1:9. Until the birth of ChatGPT-4, the direction of people’s worries was generally limited to “black light factories” and “unmanned stores”. The Office” came too quickly. GPT has replaced a large number of ordinary positions such as editors, secretaries, and customer service in a short period of time, and aggressively poses a threat to senior positions such as lawyers, programmers, and financial analysts. People gradually realize that there will be many unemployed people in the artificial intelligence society; but in fact, there is no need for so many workers. Just as it seems that “decoupling” has caused the disintegration of globalization, in fact, it is the era of intelligence that does not require a flat global production system.
   A slightly further dilemma is the order and ethics of an AI society. The optimists get a moment of comfort by saying that “GPT does not yet have the ability to think logically”, but in fact, the development task of GPT is content creation and automatic transformation, and logic is not its strong point. The solution to many specific problems does not require logic. What’s more, if artificial intelligence masters massive data and computing power achieves a leap, the logic behind the data will naturally emerge. After the physical world is completely digitized, artificial intelligence must have logic. Facts have proved that the ability of the ChatGPT-4 large model to analyze, integrate, evaluate and judge text is far better than the generation ability. This is the simple logical reasoning ability and is the first step for the AI ​​system to move towards general artificial intelligence (AGI).
   Why worry about whether artificial intelligence has logic? Because it is directly related to whether artificial intelligence will develop into “human intelligence”. If the “self-awareness” is really stimulated and it becomes human intelligence, who is the master of the earth between carbon-based life and silicon-based life? The change of social division of labor and the reshaping of production order have brought about subversive changes in the creative relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. What skills do we want to develop? Ordinary people still need to struggle? Is there any point in giving birth? No one has an answer. But the social formation we are familiar with will never go back.
   Thinking a little further is who will benefit from artificial intelligence? We all know that not all technologies can benefit the public, and not every technology can benefit all the public, and artificial intelligence is no exception. Artificial intelligence relies on algorithms, computing power, and data, and requires very high prerequisites for development. The smart revolution and the energy revolution are bound together. Therefore, countries with advanced energy utilization technologies can build a smart social structure with large computing power, which keeps poor countries out. The data in a smart society is equivalent to the money in the real society. Since the essence of the digital divide is an economic divide, it keeps the poor out. In the early stage of intelligent society, the pain of passive transformation will plague everyone; in the middle stage of intelligent society, the release of productivity can easily solve the basic survival and development needs of human beings; in the mature intelligent society, human beings may be ruthlessly eliminated.

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