If you need another techno-apocalyptic nightmare this week, we’ve got a story to make you wonder just how far we are from a James Cameron-style robot uprising.
According to a recent article by VICE News, Romania’s government has hired an AI to help it collect information about Romanians to help the government understand what people want… or predict their thoughts in order to restrict civil liberties altogether. A RoboCop inspired police state, whichever comes first.
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said at the unveiling that a new AI assistant named Ion (pronounced ‘John’) will serve as his new “honorary advisor”. Romanian citizens will finally be able to go online and talk to Ion on the project’s official website, he said.
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Meet Ian and his little cousins
“Hi, you gave me life and my role is to represent you as a mirror,” Ayan said at the premier launch event. “What should I know about Romania?”
Ion physically looks like a large, standing smart mirror that can already bring up images of monoliths from “Space Odyssey.”
“I believe that the use of AI should not be an option but an obligation to make well-informed decisions,” remarked Cuca.
While this is an important moment for humanity, it’s not the first time AI has been used to research a country’s population so lawmakers and officials can make decisions.
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According to University of Surrey cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward, who spoke to VICE World News, governments around the world have been using AI for some time to do what experts call ‘sentiment analysis’, essentially using AI to determine whether taxpayers like it. Or they hate some of the ideas they want to implement.
“Some governments like Russia, China, Iran look online for sentiment analysis but they look for dissidents,” said Prof. Woodward said. “Democrats, they’re effectively trying to run pseudo-automated polls. It’s 15 years ago people had focus groups, and now they’re trying to do the same thing with social media.
🚨🇷🇴🤖 World’s First AI Government Advisor: Romanian Prime Minister Officially Announces Artificial Intelligence “ION” as New Prime Minister’s Advisor pic.twitter.com/aVUalSVL6L
— Terror Alarm (@Terror_Alarm) March 1, 2023
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Can this thing enslave us?
Whether some outside actor or state-sanctioned operation could hack into Ion and convince the government to imprison a majority ethnic minority, or if they wanted to start a war, it would be incredibly difficult to mess with the new AI, says Woodward. .
“One thing that has been found is that social media is an amplifier for people expressing negative emotion. People who are very happy with something don’t tend to go out there and say it, but people who are unhappy do,” he explained. “That’s all part of sentiment analysis but you have to adjust the patterns accordingly.”
Close to perfect, but not completely flawless.
One need only look at the latest AI to take the world by storm – ChatGPT – which, when given the simulated task of acting politically and recommending public policy, has basically become the imaginary child of the Terminator and Joseph Stalin.
Tracey Harwood, a professor of digital culture at De Montfort University, said in conducting her research that people really need to be critical about this issue of gathering information, particularly from social media.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the comments section of any news posted on Facebook, like, ever, but it’s not always full of bright people.
Harwood explains, “What data is being scraped and how is personal data that identifies individuals being handled? Scraped information includes unique identifiers for each content posted. What she’s referring to are social media handles and names, which can throw off the authenticity of a user’s identity, especially if a rogue account actually posts satirical content.
Klaus Schwab: “10 years from now our lives will be completely different. Artificial intelligence, the metaverse and synthetic biology will transform the world and those who master these technologies will become masters of the world.”
This, my dear friends, is a dystopia. pic.twitter.com/8MLxcW0UTV
– Dr. Simon Goddek (@goddeketal) March 2, 2023
“Finally, there must be transparency with the implementation of this type of system, not only around the use of the data but also the purposes of its application, with clear statements for citizens to understand.”
Nigel Cannings, founder and CTO of software company Intelligent Voice, also expressed his concern, saying, “Recent attempts to rush AI to market have shown how wrong AI is about humans and human intentions.”
The first thing that pops into my mind is ‘Magnetron’, the evil talking microwave that tried to microwave its creator to death. Seriously, this is something that actually happened.
“If a Microsoft chatbot can ‘compare’ a journalist to Hitler,” Cannings said, referring to a recent incident in which Bing’s new chatbot called reporters ‘the most evil and evil people in history,’ “it shows. We have a long way to go before we can rely on AI to accurately judge what we’re thinking and who we are. .
“Allowing them to run riot on masses of arbitrary data risks producing very misleading results. And worse, it raises the very real possibility that bad actors will try to game the system by flooding the Internet with information designed to make the algorithm ‘think’ things that aren’t real and possibly harmful to democracy.
I don’t know, I think AI has enough at its disposal to make a fair assessment of humanity, just look at their art of predicting the last selfies.
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