The consequences of AI that (almost) no one talks about

6 June 2024 - 13:00

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Are we truly considering the ethical and social implications of technology and artificial intelligence?

The consequences of AI that (almost) no one talks about

The relationship between man and technology is becoming increasingly connected and osmotic and what might have seemed like science fiction until a few years ago has become a concrete reality.

Suppose it is true that technological evolution and artificial intelligence have made our existence easier, also giving rise to new professions, diversified degree courses, and new opportunities. In that case, it is equally correct to admit that, to date, our relationship with them is making us lose the boundaries between real and virtual, making us more and more dependent.

The very real risk is to create a society characterized by "digital slavery".
This is just one of the first alerts that Marco Camisani Calzolari, well-known scientific communicator and recently appointed Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, launches in “Cyberhumanism”, his latest book published by Il Sole 24Ore.

Yet the human race is no stranger to the relationship with important innovations that have made life easier, such as the advent of electricity, which we have managed to domesticate and serve our needs. What we are experiencing in this era is truly a Copernican revolution in terms of innovations and progress but what we have lost is the sense of measure and the ability to "keep mankind at the center”, as the book’s subtitle states.

Among all the innovations of the last five years, artificial intelligence is certainly the absolute protagonist not only in terms of media narration but also of technological application which is revolutionizing our way of thinking and deciding - or rather, of delegating decisions that we, as humans, should make, with the real risk of losing this ability and to choose only between various options.

Do we fail to see what all this implies? Are we relying more and more on algorithms that we are training more or less consciously to act on our behalf? Are we allowing our data, even the most intimate ones, to end up in the hands of a few to be transformed into pure profit and not to create common well-being and prosperity? There is much food for thought and a first input should be to stop for a moment and re-establish boundaries between what is human and what is not.

The concept of border is well defined in Camisani Calzolari’s text and is almost central: if limits are drawn for a State, not for technology, there is no dividing line. Being supranational it does not take into account the democracies of the various states and what is returned in terms of devices and progress does not always coincide well with the ethics, privacy, and the constitutions of the individual geographical areas that use it.

The problem, however, is not just legal. It is first and foremost ethical and linked to the safety of the individual. We cannot allow ourselves to transform into an "algorithmic" world dominated by "digital sovereignty" without having any protection of our data and being aware of the use made of it.

How do you get out of it then?
The author proposes a holistic approach capable of keeping and advancing technological development and human beings together in the name of the survival and well-being of the latter, who will still have to be capable of deciding, discerning, and training technology in a clean and respectful manner for your own well-being and the progress of your species.

This is, in a word, Cyberhumanism. Oh no, it’s not futurism but a concrete appeal not to lose focus on respect for one’s nature and person by everyone, institutions first and foremost.

Original article published on Italy 2024-06-05 13:50:00. Original title: Le conseguenze di tecnologia e AI di cui nessuno (o quasi) parla

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