We went crazy. Everyone. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is catching on, and panic is rampant in the pages of newspapers, and in the media. And it ends up in terrified and aggressive comments towards any analysis, even a balanced one, of the phenomenon. What is behind this climate of catastrophism?
Catastrophism: like an epidemic
In the beginning it was the tabloids, notorious for their sensational and often unsubstantiated stories. Today, even more "serious" newspapers such as the New York Times have begun to ride the wave of catastrophism, further fueling the discussion on the subject.
Some prominent figures in the AI world itself, we have made known to you, have contributed to spreading these apocalyptic scenarios, leveraging fear to gain visibility and attention.
Between these, Sam altman, CEO of OpenAI, is a case in point. His statements they have painted a dark and ominous future, in which AI can become a mortal danger to humanity. He was echoed, then, by the statements of Eliezer Yudkowski, another super expert, who fears his daughter will not come of age: before then, in fact, according to him the AI it could kill us all.
Leverage Luddism to promote technology
The question arises: why are these people and organizations panicking about AI? Is it authentic "philanthropy" (on the part of those who have developed and already earn from AI, moreover)?
The answer is simple: terror sells. Creating a climate of fear around OpenAI products, for example, is an integral part of the company's marketing strategy. Making believe that their products are "the most important and scariest in the history of mankind" attracts the attention of the public, investors and potential employees.
With a similar little game, in 2019, social media guaranteed itself some more oxygen. The ongoing scare over misinformation that blamed Cambridge Analytica for Brexit and the 2016 election of Trump actually backed up Facebook's sales message: "What could be more appealing to an advertiser than a car able to persuade anyone of everything?"
Who among you has grasped this pattern? Be honest.
It benefits everyone: AI companies and even the formidable "champions of freedom". On the one hand, figures like Sam Altman use apocalyptic marketing to promote real products. On the other hand, more and more "conservative heroes" are making AI catastrophism their main product, their career and their source of income.
An example? The Bishops of the "Effective altruism". They claim to be the chosen few able to save us from a hypothetical apocalypse of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). But they make money on it. And they sell. Products, Services, Books, events. They get millions of clicks with their posts In the mantras that then fall on the laziest, the same pappardelle. The same keywords: "Ah! Transhumanism!". "Ah! The Overton window". Few but confused ideas, which end up preventing a real and healthy debate on the real risks of AI, and also on the real opportunities.
Out of control. It's out of place.
The hysterical AI catastrophism has become yet another mainstream product. And the many self-styled "awake" do not understand that they are actually part of what in its own way is another flock. It is important to recognize these mechanisms and not get overwhelmed by collective hysteria.
Artificial Intelligence certainly presents challenges and concerns, but it is essential to address them with a rational and evidence-based approach, rather than panicking.
From catastrophism to civilization in 5 moves
To combat mass hysteria and panic about AI, it is important to:
- Educate the public: Disseminating accurate and accessible information about AI and its applications can help people better understand the risks and opportunities offered by these technologies. We are trying.
- Promote dialogue between experts and the public: Creating opportunities for scientists, engineers and industry experts to engage with the public and share their knowledge of AI can foster greater understanding of the topic and reduce unwarranted catastrophism.
- Incentivize responsible media coverage: The media has a crucial role in shaping public opinion about AI. Incentivising more balanced and fact-based media coverage can help reduce public hysteria and promote a more rational debate on AI-related issues.
- Foster international cooperation: Keyboard "smarts" who think that the attitude is purely alarmist, know that panic over AI can fuel an arms race, not disarmament. Instead, fostering international cooperation on AI can help ensure that these technologies are developed and regulated responsibly, with globally shared benefits.
- Develop a clear and fair regulatory framework: A robust and well-defined regulatory framework can help prevent the misuse of AI and ensure that these technologies are used ethically and responsibly. Of course, it is important that these rules are not dictated by catastrophism and hysteria, as in the Italian case on ChatGPT (it is no coincidence that no one has followed our country beyond the chatter, but is taking the right time to evaluate). Rather, we need choices based on a deep and rational understanding of AI's risks and opportunities. The rest is for marketers who, lo and behold, want to make money organizing AI events. When the case is said.
The appendix is dedicated to the real victims
I want to dedicate the last part of this long article to those who are really suffering from the situation. A little out of mental laziness, a little out of attitude, a lot out of faults not your own. The people who, faced with this news, embrace catastrophism and transform it into a boast, almost into a battle for freedom.
You recognize them on social channels because they read a title, they are activated by reading a keyword (in this case "artificial intelligence") and start with Pavlovian reactions and the mantras I was telling you about. Maybe seasoned with insults and threats.
I address you
Do not be prophets of catastrophe, friends. Don't preach fear, please. Above all, don't put yourselves presumptuously on the level of "saviors from the evil of artificial intelligence" (and of transhumanism. I know, it has nothing to do with it, but they put it on everything like parsley).
You risk manipulation. Yes sir. Exactly like those you make fun of or accuse, those who from your point of view "buy everything the mainstream says".
The mainstream also manipulates with fear, you should know that. Instead, why don't we all try together to really delve into the topic, trying to balance the risks and benefits of this technology?
Abandoning catastrophism is the best and perhaps the only way to avoid a possible catastrophe. Oh, I told you.