Is Artificial Intelligence Good for Society?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of “computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind,” according to IBM. Artificial intelligence is used for a variety of everyday implementations including facial recognition software, online shopping algorithms, search engines, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, translation services, automated safety functions on cars (and the promised self-driving cars of the future), cybersecurity, airport body scanning security, poker playing strategy, and fighting disinformation on social media, among others. For more on AI, explore the ProCon debate.
“We’ll see more technological change in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the last 50 years and maybe even beyond that. And AI is already driving that change in every part of the American life, often in ways we don’t notice. AI is already making it easier to search the Internet, helping us drive to our destinations while avoiding traffic in real time. AI is going to change the way we teach, learn, and help solve challenges like disease and climate change — and giving — giving the time to focus on the things that matter most to you personally. But in seizing this moment, we need to manage the risks to our society, to our economy, and our national security. My administration is committed — is committed to safeguarding America’s rights and safety, from protecting privacy, to addressing bias and disinformation, to making sure AI systems are safe before they are released. ”
Editors’ Note: The Biden Administration released the “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights: Making Automated Systems Work for the American People” in Oct. 2022.-
White House, “Remarks by President Biden on Seizing the Opportunities and Managing the Risks of Artificial Intelligence,” whitehouse.gov, June 20, 2023
“Well, certainly the advent of AI that we’re just at the very cusp of is as technology has in my lifetime, it’s changed every job, every company, every industry. But unfortunately, it hasn’t had as much change as it should in areas like education, health care, or government. And education and health care, big areas of government spending. We haven’t harnessed the power of technology the way the competitive private sectors have. Now with AI coming along and you’ve got tools that are free. I’m thinking of one product in particular [likely ChatGPT], but it speaks 26 languages. It knows how to code. It can draft first responses for you for reports that you may have to develop.
And we, when we completed the legislative session in North Dakota this year, what we did after that is we got all of our cabinet heads together. We brought in all the industry experts and we said, how can we apply the tools of AI to make government services more effective, more efficient, and more responsive to our citizens. Because every agency always says, hey, we don’t have enough FTEs [full-time employees]. I wish I had more people helping us out. Well, now we can give every, every, every government team member can actually have an assistant, a co-pilot that can do all these amazing things.
So I think you asked the question about regulation, but I’m saying there’s an upside here in terms of productivity gains that are just incredible that are going to help, again, transform all these industries as we go forward, we have to think about what are the right appropriate guardrails to make sure that we apply to these new technologies. But for our country right now, when we have 11 million jobs available, which is not going away because of all the baby boomers that are retiring and demographically, we’re going to have a chronic labor shortage that’s going to drive costs up for labor. One of the ways to have higher productivity and lower costs and more meaningful jobs with more purpose for people is to be able to harness these tools which can take the drudgery and the repetitiveness out of every job. So I’m very excited about where technology has taken us, but [also] where it can take us.”-
WMUR, “Doug Burgum Talks about Popular Political Issues among Young Voters,” wmur.com, July 14, 2023
“What I think artificial intelligence offers us is an extraordinary opportunity to expand well beyond the productivity that we have now,” he said. He rightly added: “We can’t be afraid of innovation. America has been the great innovator of this world over the last 250 years, a technological innovator, a manufacturing innovator, and a freedom and governmental innovator. And that’s why America has to continue to stand strong in the world, pro-innovation [and] pro-progress…. What I will do is to make sure that every innovator in this country gets the government the hell off its back and out of its pocket so that it can innovate and bring great new inventions to our country that will make everybody’s lives better.”-
Ronald Bailey, “Chris Christie for Robots and Tech Progress,” reason.com, Sep. 27, 2023
Editors’ Note: Trump signed Executive Order 13859 on Feb 11, 2019. The order states: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to drive growth of the United States economy, enhance our economic and national security, and improve our quality of life. The United States is the world leader in AI research and development (R&D) and deployment. Continued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States and to shaping the global evolution of AI in a manner consistent with our Nation’s values, policies, and priorities.”-
Executive Office of the President, “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence,” federalregister.gov, Feb. 11, 2019
“The other major issue for them [tech industry leaders] is figuring out ways to regulate AI technologies globally. Elon [Musk] has said that AI will first take our jobs and then it will kill us. This is not hyperbole. Technology leaders understand the frightening dangers of AI — including its capacity to control narratives, create illusions, surveil our activities to dictate our behaviors and enforce compliance, and ultimately enslave humanity.”-
Lydia Moynihan, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Interview: Why I’m Not an Anti-Vaxxer,” nypost.com, June 22, 2023
Not Clear or Not Found
No position has been found as of July 19, 2023.
Editors’ Note: Controversy erupted in early June 2023 over the DeSantis War Room Twitter account posting a video that includes apparent AI-generated images and audio of Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci.
“A temporary pause [on artificial intelligence development] amongst U.S. companies — if China is actually running forward with it — that doesn’t do anything in alleviating the risks of AI. It exacerbates them because Americans are at an even greater risk instead…. I do have some concerns with the advancement of AI. In the name of helping humanity, AI presents a lot of other risks to humanity that may be difficult to reverse…. It’s important as a U.S. president not to apply any constraints to the U.S. that China isn’t itself adopting, but to lead diplomatically in a way that we’re able to address those risks together. We can’t tie our own hands if China isn’t adopting the same constraints…. I have even run a company that used AI to discover and design drugs, even AI in the drug development process…. China represents a much greater risk to the US right now than AI does. We have to be eyes wide open to that fact.”-
Kassy Dillon and Jon Michael Raasch, “‘Can’t Tie Our Own Hands’: Presidential Candidate Warns an AI Pause for Us Means ‘China Running with It’,” foxnews.com, Apr. 28, 2023