Dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Maggie Fleming, Opinion Editor

If you’re looking for a late night chat or some friendly advice, Snapchats “My AI,” shouldn’t be your first choice. 

“My AI” has been advertised as an experimental, friendly, chatbot to snapchatters across the globe. This new feature is available anytime and responds within seconds. What many people don’t understand is that this “friendly chatbot,” is taking everything you send it and storing it as data to enhance the accuracy of your chats and various advertisements according to Snapchat. This is what Artificial Intelligence does. 

Artificial Intelligence is a large part of our everyday lives, its job is to perform human-like tasks based on the data we feed it. When you summon Siri, you are using artificial intelligence software coined by Apple. Every suggested post on Instagram, Tiktok, and various other media platforms uses artificial intelligence software to track your likes and dislikes to then suggest products based off of that information. I, for one, often feel Amazon knows what I need to order before I do. 

This AI software is programmed to function very similarly to a human brain. According to the Statistical Analysis System, it uses neural networks which enhance machine learning. These networks function like neurons in the brain; machine learning relies on the transfer of information and data between interconnected units (much like neurotransmitters). These units process information based on external outputs (what posts you like, how much time you spend viewing an item, etc.) providing the machines with loads of data. The pathways create patterns and connections building the softwares intelligence and often making it personal to accounts and profiles. AI also relies on camera and voice recognition software to retrieve data. This type of machine learning constantly stores data to amplify accuracy and efficiency. 

We rely on AI each day, sometimes without realizing it. Whether you’re using your trusty weatherman, Alexa, or oh my gosh the Starbucks app remembered your daily order, this technology can be extremely convenient. It handles simple tasks with great accuracy and quick decision-making that humans lack. 

This technology may be convenient now, but according to Tableu, Artificial Intelligence has little to no regulations. Experts worry that because of this, people’s right to privacy might be in jeopardy because of the large amounts of personal data companies who use AI software have access to. 

A recent case proved just how dangerous AI can be. A family in Arizona fell victim to AI voice cloning. Jennifer DeStefano answered a call from an unknown number hearing her daughter begging for help on the other line. She was told her daughter was kidnapped and she needed to pay ransom. Police involvement confirmed her daughter was okay and that someone using AI software cloned her voice in order to deceive an unsuspecting parent.

SZA once said, “Let’s talk about A.I., robot got more heart than I,” (Ghost in the Machine). I usually trust SZA and her song lyrics, but she is wrong. Although Artificial Intelligence has many human-like functions, it lacks emotion. Its decision making is purely data based with no second thoughts. We should not blindly trust an emotionless software to have unlimited access to our personal lives. If data gets into the wrong hands, the possibilities are unimaginable.