Defining the association community's path forward together
AUTHOR'S ATTESTATION: The text in this open letter was written entirely by its human author, Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, without the use of generative AI.
Since the initial release of ChatGPT in late November 2022, there has been a global explosion of interest in "generative AI." ChatGPT reached 100 million active users just two months after its launch, and its adoption continues to grow. In a recent blog post titled, "The Age of AI has begun," Bill Gates argues, "[t]he development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it."
Gates's observations may be correct, but there is another more concerning side to the story. The accelerating adoption of AI overall—and generative AI specifically—continues to raise numerous real-world problems for human beings that neither government entities nor technology companies are taking sufficient action to resolve. The short-term concerns include 1) the discriminatory impact of biased AI algorithms; 2) cybersecurity, legal and privacy issues; 3) the inaccuracy and unreliability of AI-generated content; 4) AI-generated deepfakes/misinformation/disinformation; and 5) the energy usage/environmental impact of and human exploitation in the training of large language models (LLMs). Over the long term, additional concerns include 1) the impact of generative AI on jobs; 2) the loss of human agency; and 3) the existential risks of artificial general intelligence (AGI).
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