AI Takeover 2050; Friend or Foe?

In the modern era, marked by extraordinary technological advancements across the globe, computers and intelligent systems have seamlessly integrated into our daily routines. From the moment we awaken until we retire to bed at night, we find ourselves surrounded by a myriad of intelligent devices that have become an integral part of our lives.

Upon waking up, many of us instinctively reach for our smartphones and open applications like Instagram to catch up on the latest news from around the world. We might even call upon virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa to provide us with updates on our daily meetings and tasks. As we proceed to the bathroom, we effortlessly strap on our smartwatches, which dutifully monitor our activities throughout the day. Even when preparing to leave for work or other commitments, technology comes to the fore. In the colder months, we utilize car applications to remotely start our vehicles, ensuring a warm and comfortable interior. Once inside the car, we seamlessly connect our smartphones to Apple CarPlay or Android AutoPlay and rely on apps like Google Maps or Waze to navigate our way to our destination. During the drive, we immerse ourselves in personalized content, whether it be a podcast or a song recommended to us by platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, which meticulously analyze our listening preferences.

Without even realizing it, computers have assumed an unprecedented level of control over our lives, influencing our choices, activities, and even our thoughts. This integration of technology into our daily routines has become so natural that we often overlook the extent to which it shapes our behavior. Consider the revolutionary impact of the Internet, which completely transformed our way of life, yet its profound influence slipped into our lives surreptitiously.

However, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) introduces an intriguing and somewhat disconcerting dimension to this technological revolution. AI has permeated every facet of our existence, from the seemingly innocuous suggestions on Instagram’s algorithm, guiding us to posts, stories, and reels tailored to our preferences, to the filtering of spam emails that land in our inbox. This extraordinary level of control exerted by companies implementing AI means that they possess the power to curate our experiences and selectively present information to us.

Regrettably, recent studies conducted by researchers from prestigious universities in the United States have revealed unsettling aspects of Instagram’s suggestion algorithm. It has been shown that the algorithm not only displays child abuse posts but also tends to steer users towards such content. Similarly, countries like Canada have recently implemented regulations to control the dissemination of news on social media platforms such as Instagram. Consequently, Instagram, now under the umbrella of Meta, has ceased displaying news content to users residing in Canada. The insidious nature of these changes lies in the fact that they occur imperceptibly and subtly alter our habits and perceptions over an extended period. This potential manipulation is an alarming prospect.

It is crucial to contemplate the implications of AI’s immense power in shaping our lives. Consider a scenario where those who work on AI, armed with the ability to influence what we see and watch on our devices, choose to exploit this power for nefarious purposes. With the relentless advancement of AI technology, envision a future in 2050 where AI systems are self-improving and capable of self-alteration without any human intervention. Should such systems fall into the wrong hands or be programmed with malicious intent, they could manipulate people’s emotions, incite unrest, or even attempt world domination. What once seemed like a far-fetched science fiction notion has become a plausible concern in our present reality.

If you have ever watched the series “Westworld,” it portrays a story that could potentially unfold in the near future. It envisions a world where robots become indistinguishable from human beings. Over time, these robots would surpass human control and gain the ability to make autonomous decisions. As they learn and evolve, their ultimate objective might be to eliminate humans and establish dominion over the world they inhabit.

Even as human beings, we have often been insensitive, causing harm to animals and degrading the environment in our pursuit of a better world exclusively for ourselves. Therefore, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine that the robots we create could develop a similar perspective. Consequently, they may act in accordance with their own desires, solely focused on their own interests.

The crucial question remains: What can we do about this situation? Personally, I believe that our options are severely limited. Regardless of our desires, we find ourselves in the midst of this trajectory with no possibility of undoing our actions (control + Z). Everything in this world has its moment of existence, and ultimately, all things shall pass. There doesn’t seem to be an alternative path.

The likelihood of effectively managing and controlling intelligent systems to ensure they pose no threat to us is as improbable as eliminating all bad individuals, killers, or terrorists from the world. In other words, the chances are minuscule.

In conclusion, the rapid integration of technology and AI into our daily lives has profoundly transformed the way we live, often without us fully realizing it. While the benefits and conveniences offered by these advancements are undeniable, we must remain vigilant and critically examine the potential risks and ethical implications associated with the power AI holds over us.

Author: Rambod Azimi

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