"It is an interesting idea that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would somehow take over the world. That being said, cambridge analytica already hacked our Democracies around the world and was (and its successors likely are) heavily using AI.
AI is also being used on the battlefield, think drones that scan the earth's surfaces and AI can be a very useful tool to filter out objects of interest. In our beloved Medellin, the government recently installed camera's throughout the city that through AI can scan not only every license plate, but also every face and can see where that person has been in previous days, weeks or months. This new AI technology will potentially create an impact that we have not seen since the introduction of the internet.
During the lockdown, we have come to realize that Governments have the ability to control pretty much our entire lives when we let them. So, if the government is able to scare people to stay in their houses, there might be a real threat to us when AI will be broadly rolled out.
As many people have come to realize, the camera systems that are in place in Medellin when used correctly can help police to find Criminals quickly, but the same systems can be used to track dissidents or Journalists.
As AI is currently in its infancy, there is no direct threat. However, it is not unthinkable that when AI is used more and more it can be used not only to track but also to control. For example a car that is self-driving could be locking up its passengers and bringing them to the police station for questioning.
This might seem like a plot from a Hollywood movie, but can be turned into reality when AI is not controlled within an independent Body. It is a forceful tool. For now, luckily most AI applications are peaceful and can help society as more sophisticated products can be made without human labour. Overall, AI offers a real promise for the future. It is a tipping balance, and while there are threats to Society, the overall promise is more promising than its threats.
Written by Niels Siskens