“AI Doomerism” is the popular media sport of generating panic about artificial intelligence and how it will take away everything we hold dear. It was a niche pastime 8 months ago. Now, it’s everywhere.
by Chris Bunting
The New York Times in March: “AI could rapidly eat the whole of human culture.”
We don’t know much about it, the paper said, but we do know we have summoned an “alien intelligence” with “godlike powers”.
Time magazine 5 days later: “literally everyone on Earth will die … We are not prepared. We are not on course to be prepared in any reasonable time window. There is no plan.”
The author made a brief digression about bombing data centres and then got back in the groove: “Shut it all down. We are not ready. We are not on track to be significantly readier in the foreseeable future. If we go ahead on this everyone will die, including children who did not choose this and did not do anything wrong. Shut it down.”
A useful technology
My problem with this kind of sensationalism is that it is scaring the bejesus out of us, just at the moment we need to be engaging with AI.
There are lots of ethical, safety, social and economic, and regulatory questions to be thought through, but we need understanding and experience of this technology to answer them well.
And unlike some of the other two-letter bogey technologies elements of media and social media have hyped up in the recent past – 5G, GM etc. – this is not a technology that is applied behind the scenes and that we only need to buy the products of. This is a technology that is going to make its presence felt throughout our working lives and that we will use, rather than simply consume.
Josephine Graham published a great piece on comms2point0 that covered some of the opportunities and risks of AI in comms. So, I’ve decided to take a sillier and more whimsical approach to expressing the possibilities I see, particularly around learning new skills.
To do that, I’ve built my own blog page with the help of the AI chatbot ChatGPT. That means I need to take the unusual step of asking readers to leave the comms2point0 platform to find out more:
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image was generated by AI