It was until now just a vague concept that seemed far removed from our lives. Even a marketing term that some companies abused in an attempt to differentiate themselves. But in recent weeks, artificial intelligence (AI) has made a sensational entry into the public arena. There was of course, at the beginning of December, the launch for everyone of the ChatGPT text generator. There is the proliferation of these stunningly beautiful machine-generated images. And there’s also the viral spread of surreal videos: look, for example, at the AI-created clip of actor Morgan Freeman talking about the arrival of a “synthetic reality” we’re entering.
Fundamental ethical issues
AI is among us. We experience ultra-basic versions of it when we chat with chatbots from IKEA, Swisscom or Netflix. And very soon we will be facing much higher levels. AI-assisted medicine is becoming more and more democratized, with convincing results. The world of finance wants to use AI to decide on investment strategies, but also to sort out the good and bad clients… And recruitment services are also starting to swallow CVs of software candidates. spinning with AI. Just like police who use advanced services to confuse criminals, even to predict packages…
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As can be guessed in the light of these last examples, fundamental ethical questions are already being posed today. Who decides to use these AIs? Who designed them? With what data? Do we have the means to correct the biases induced by the latter? Is it possible to explain why such a decision is taken?
The role of regulatory authorities
These questions are fundamental. Companies must be accountable for these services. And regulatory authorities, already struggling (to put it mildly) to regulate tech for years, should take a serious interest in it. It is unacceptable that all these AI systems are blindly trusted black boxes.
The debate that AI must generate goes beyond technology and law. The school will be hit hard by these automatic writing systems – and we can see that Microsoft is already considering integrating them into Word. Discerning what has been produced by a human or a machine will sometimes become complicated. Separating the true from the false concerning doctored images and videos will be terribly difficult.
Faced with all these challenges, the human must have a priority: to keep control.
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Artificial intelligence: we must stay in control
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