The Terrifying Implications of Unregulated AI


Melia Peragine, Staff Writer

Artificial Intelligence is currently taking the world by storm. AI is technology that mimics human intelligence by solving problems it was never programmed to solve. AI applications are used in self-driving cars, online chess games, machines that detect diseases, etc. But trivial uses of AI have breached the internet through AI Art and AI Voice and the results are not very good. 

AI art is digital artwork that has been developed by taking parts of already-made art on the internet and turning it into something new. A user can input a prompt and the AI will auto-generate that image. This sounds like a fun tool, but it steals from artists and profits from their work. Artists generally have a difficult time making a living strictly off of their art. Human artists may be replaced by artificial intelligence, resulting in employment losses and a decrease in the value of traditional art. So why are we using this tool that is unnecessary and hurtful?

A Berlin-based German artist, Boris Eldagsen, admitted on April 18, 2023, that he won the Sony World Photography Awards by submitting an AI-generated image. Eldagsen says, “I don’t see it as a threat to creativity. For me, it really is setting me free.” This may be true for Eldagsen, but to me, I find it as a tool that cheats artists. Photography that uses light has passion and meaning and although that can be derived from AI art, it loses value. Typing in a prompt to a machine is fruitless and makes me feel sympathetic for those who put great effort into their work. The way I see it, AI art is pointless. There is no reason to revoke the credibility of true artists. If it is winning competitions over people that truly tried, that is called cheating. Additionally, if the competition was about using AI as the medium, then each artist would be on the same playing field, but in this situation, they are not.

AI’s code understands patterns and although it is incredibly advanced, it does not know how to differentiate between real information and internet trolls. AI will take public cyberbullying and log it into its system. Websites like Twitter, which is full of toxicity and hatred, will be analyzed and the bot will standardize the information resulting in exacerbated racism, misogyny, etc.

AI also poses as a dangerous privacy risk. AI voice is a synthetic voice generated by artificial intelligence. Users can insert a message and the bot will read it aloud in a text-to-speech format. The voice can also be altered to mimic a particular person such as a celebrity. Recently, the internet has produced a meme of AI former president Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and current president Joe Biden playing a video game called “Minecraft” together. Although this is a silly, harmless use of the technology, AI voice could potentially have harmful effects. For example, the use of a public figure’s voice to say potentially hurtful words or those in power to announce an inaccurate statement, could have a dangerous impact. Many have been fooled by the AI voice, so with authentic technology, who knows if a hacker can use AI technology to access sensitive items? On April 12, 2023, a story was published in the New York Post that described an AI cloning a teen girl’s voice in a kidnapping scheme. The girl was safe on a skiing trip, but her mother thought she had been kidnapped. The scammer demanded 1 million dollars for her release and the mother “never doubted for one second it was her.” AI’s ability to recreate someone’s voice put into the wrong hands could have long-lasting effects on families everywhere.

AI also replaces workers’ jobs which creates a greater issue of unemployment. A recent Goldman Sachs study found that AI tools can impact 300 million full-time jobs worldwide. These positions include media jobs; market research analysts; teachers; finance jobs; traders; tech; legal industry jobs; graphic designers; accountants; and customer service agents. A lot of the jobs I listed above can easily be done by humans, so replacing them with a bot called ChatGBT is harmful and pointless. ChatGBT is known as a natural processing tool. These jobs are not dangerous or tedious and humans can do them just as well as a robot can—at least until technology develops further and there are no mistakes in a machine’s auto-generated system. Students also use ChatGBT to cheat on homework assignments, essays, and tests. Not only are we ruining the chances of future employment for these children, but we are providing them with tools that will make them appear overqualified on subjects they truly know nothing about. Important jobs are hiring young adults that used a robot to write their essays for them in school. This not only ostracizes the children that truly know the information and put in the effort, but it rewards the kids that cheated the system for the sake of what?

AI certainly is not going to go away any time soon, if at all, so to move forward with this advanced technology, we must add user regulations. Instead of replacing jobs, we can simply enhance them and make them easier for a human to do while they still get paid for it. We can also create a way to differentiate between AI and human creation. I am aware there are other uses for AI, such as in the medical field, which are truly helpful, but trivial uses of the technology could have a negative effect in our society. We must know how to value our lives over machines’ because I am worried for our future. You never know how far things will escalate or what AI will become.