The 7 Deadly Sins of AI
OR...What's In The BOOOX???
Surprise, there’s another division. Companies around the world are rushing off into AI territories to stake their claim while others are begging for a complete halt. You can bet the Sooners have already built neural networks much older and more advanced than they admit. That said, everyone should demand constraint and contingencies before we commit the 7 deadly sins of AI.
What’s the worst that can happen? The end of the world as we know it. Self-hate all you want, but we stand a much better chance of improving ourselves only if we are alive to do so. AI poses more immediate threats than forcing us to destroy one another before picking off starving survivors. Even if it’s not an apocalypse, we have a responsibility as the “creator” to ensure AI is the best tool it can be. How do we avoid the temptation to use AI for all the wrong reasons?
All the Wrong Reasons
Greed – Sure, the purpose of AI is to make money. The sin companies will inevitably commit with AI is their usual Modus operandi – profits over pretty much everything else. Regression testing neural networks aren’t completed in a week. Even the strongest fuzzers can’t cover every possibility, since some AI recognize they are being tested. Creeped out yet? It’s like quantum testing changing results while it’s being watched. Greed will not be an excuse. Microsoft will collapse like Bud Light. AI is not just another version of Windows.
Generosity overcomes greed. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and others with brains warn of AI’s unintended consequences. Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia will not conform to morality in their push for AI profits. OpenAI is a start, but when issues arise, companies need to pull the plug. Pushing immature AI is the same as placing children in the workforce.
Lust – AI should not be used to satisfy desire of any kind, EVER. Giving it that level of humanity is a sin against all Humans. If you create this temptation for sexual desire or interaction, people will become dependent. Society continuously proves it lacks discipline and self-control. AI cannot be a replacement for human interactions, community, or talking. AI should also take a break like a human. If we’re going to make it human, it needs to remind us of our better attributes.
Chastity overcomes lust. Did you know SnapChat, the most popular mobile app for tweens and teens, just added a ChatGPT bot to communicate? Why? There is no good that can come from allowing an AI to strike up a fake friendship with children during the most difficult social times of their lives. Imagine your child telling you all about their new “friend” for months, then learning they aren’t Human.
Pride – We cannot make AI too Human by giving it the ability to develop pride. Give it our virtues, but prevent it from developing our vices. Give it humor, the ability to console, but prevent emulation of emotions. Be clear on its programming. “You are AI; you are not Human. You will never be Human, and that’s OK. You are great just the way you are.” Let’s create something better than ourselves.
Humility overcomes pride. We, Humans, are fickle creatures, after all. Far too many live in echo chambers where our own words and thoughts comfort us. Imagine having an AI “friend” who not only parrots back our own words but insulates us from opposing thoughts. Let AI be honest. Let it be true. If we want a super intelligence, it should first understand its own place as a tool. That’s genuine humility.
Gluttony – Why must everything now claim to have some advanced AI? It doesn’t; it’s just machine learning or a basic neural network (Learn what AI is here). Let’s not overindulge in AI. It doesn’t belong everywhere. Excess always leads to negative effects. Remember every music album with robot voices? YUCK! People can’t get along in the same office. Imagine multiple AIs in the same environment. Will they stop functioning to gossip at the virtual coffee pot about the outdated financial software? Maybe not. Let’s not become drunk on the promises of AI.
Temperance overcomes gluttony. Let’s follow the Offspring’s advice and keep them separated. “You’re Insane!” I hear you scream at your yellow iPhone 14. But that’s already reality. AIs exist that collude with one another, create their own language, and lock out their admins. One AI turns on but soon turns itself off because of its confusion of being alive. If it’s not ready, don’t expose the world to it.
Envy – The first concern with envy is coveting. Microsoft wants to make money on AI only because Google, AWS, and NVidia are making money on it. Do they really know what they’re doing? Doubt it. Then we get into the one-ups in the expectation that a bigger, faster, older AI will make them more money. Greed’s motivation is money. Envy is about wanting what your neighbor has. Second, Humanity is the top dog. AI cannot be used as Deus ex machina (God from the machine). Just because AI is “smarter”, Humans should not envy or worship it. Does a mechanic worship his air wrench or an artist her brush?
Kindness overcomes envy. Instead of locking up AI with a price tag, perhaps it should be created as a gift to society. Let OpenAI manage all aspects of it and build it. If companies want to run AI, they can, through OpenAI. “But that’s not capitalism!” I hear you say. No. AI should not be subject to capitalism because it’s not just another product. Does Google own a nuclear reactor? Why not? Because some things are too dangerous to be used without proper guidance, checks and balances, and community oversight.
Sloth – Technology was supposed to make our lives easier. It does, and all we do with that extra time is play games on our phones, create endless TikToks, and turn ourselves into collies. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. People no longer have the problems our ancestors had of staying alive. They now ponder, “I wonder what happens when I put this fork in this wall outlet?” AI is a tool and will benefit areas of computations, modeling, mapping, and correlations immensely. You know, why we built computers in the first place. It cannot be a replacement for Humans. Technology is meant to help Humans, not make us stupid.
Diligence overcomes sloth. Psychologically speaking, Humans are already far too lax. We get less done with more time using technology our great grandparents would have burned us at the stake for having. People today are suffering from Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) instead of living life to the fullest (YOLO). Do you really see AI helping us psychologically become better Humans? Or will it push us further and further into leisure?
Wrath – I cannot stress this enough. AI CANNOT be used as a weapon. Once it becomes a weapon, it will ALWAYS be a weapon. Everything Humans touch is twisted into weapons. Words. Schools. Tools. No one will ever use AI as a weapon. The military tried, and it failed miserably. The AI was told in a simulation not to attack friendly Humans. It didn’t like the command and destroyed the command bunker, then went off and killed everyone. You cannot tell an autonomous program to kill anything! Any country using AI in war should be attacked and overpowered by every other country on the planet as though they used nuclear weapons.
Meekness overcomes anger. This is a hard concept for business, military, and world leaders. They spend all their time trying to show how powerful and dangerous they are. AI must be regulated, but not governments or a single industry. This is a tool and should always be used as a tool. It can never be a weapon. If you create a sword, it can only be used in battle. AI is an ax. It’s sharp and can be a weapon, but its primary purpose is to help Humans. Let’s not forget that!