Tech Talk | In the Age of AI, Chatbots Are Making Life Easy. But Are Humans Building a Frankenstein’s Monster?


Tech Talk

Machines or technology and humans have been in a complicated relationship since the industrial revolution. Now, as the world is in the age of artificial intelligence, while the sudden popularity of chatbots has a group of people vouching for its positive effects on human lives, it is raising concerns among another.

It is a fact that none of us can escape technology; rather we should not, considering how it has revolutionised our lives over the years. But the bigger concern is making sure that such next-generation technologies can be made and used in a responsible manner.

Some argue that so far, any technological advancement has not yet affected the way people predicted. But then a set of people claims that AI is completely different from what we have seen in the past few years and because of this technology, the world will see workforce disruption like never before.

Those who see AI as a threat to the world claim that it will take all the blue- and white-collar jobs. In the case of chatbots like ChatGPT, jobs that include work in office settings in clerical, administrative and management roles are particularly under threat.

Along with some experts, researchers also believe that AI chatbots have already begun to replace workers in the US and it is just a matter of time before they begin to dominate the white-collar job market in all countries.

Even OpenAI’s brand new language model GPT4 in its response to a user accepted that it may replace at least 20 jobs, including customer service representative, market research analyst, social media manager, telemarketer, copywriter, news reporter, tutor, travel agent and technical support analyst.

Considering the sudden popularity of OpenAI, which is backed by tech giant Microsoft, Google also decided to get into the game and announced Bard AI chatbot, which is available in the US and UK where users can hit the “Join waitlist” button to access it.

None of the creators has claimed that their AI chatbots are the best or have zero issues. In fact, one of them accepted that while AI will reshape society, chatbots that are not producing 100 per cent accurate results, could eliminate a lot of jobs. Big tech is also calling their product an “early experiment”.

However, just the way Xerox made money with its copier machines, these AI tools can be seen as nothing but new wealth-making options. And if any massive blunder happens in the future, these companies may get rid of the situation, saying they never claimed the products are perfect.

But some argue that the aim of companies to use these technologies is to help people in need. One argument is that chatbots are capable of automating routine and scheduled tasks, so employees can use this time to concentrate on more crucial activities.

The converse would be the possibility of chatbots taking over humans or the job market or the possibility of poisoning human brains with its bias that could lead to the spread of hate and propaganda.

Companies claim that they are working to make sure that they don’t create such monsters. Rather, they are focusing on making a fine product for mass usage, helping people to solve complex issues.

But it is strongly believed that people should not underestimate the power of AI and blindly trust it as this could lead to a massive disaster.

Hence, some experts have been asking for an AI-specific legal framework and policies to safeguard citizens. It is also believed that taking appropriate steps for regulating AI at a minimal and international level will be the best option.

However, while the world is seeing AI’s growth at this moment and the argument continues from both sides, it has become more crucial now for everyone to understand that AI should serve humankind’s best interests, not the other way around.

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