Why AI could eventually destroy most of the internet?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed below belong solely to the author.

Whenever a new technology is born, we must remember that it is still just a tool in the hands of humans and as such, it will be used to fulfill our basic desires.

Apart from mostly mindless entertainment and pastimes (which we use to recharge ourselves), most human activities have two driving forces: material gain and intangible social status based on interaction with other people.

So basically we want more resources (money) to live our lives, do what we want, settle down, have a family, and we also want to be recognized as valuable, attractive members of our community.

To that end, we are using all the tools at our disposal to improve our chances of success in both, and various artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning-based solutions will be part of this toolkit, as will computers, smartphones. — and the Internet itself — are today.

As with every technological revolution, these new solutions are primarily applied to improve business efficiency, increase our productivity and company profits.

And in that sense, any form of more or less sophisticated artificial intelligence will undoubtedly and understandably be rapidly adopted by both individuals and entire organizations.

If a machine can do something faster, more accurately, and cheaper, it would be foolish not to use it.

However, while thinking learning machines can make our jobs easier and help us make more money, what about the “social” aspect of being human?

By the people, for the people

A huge part of the Internet is built around social interaction.

We connect with our friends and family, make new acquaintances online, then create content, build followers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, and in many cases, even make a living. earn by posting there. .

Carefully crafted, polished vacation shots on Instagram capture both inspiration and envy from our friends and fans.

Video explainers teach us about a million topics, from international politics to Lord of the Rings history. At the same time, a short TikTok loop can make us laugh at animal antics or show us how to properly fry an egg.

This mix of useful, funny, mundane, inspiring or annoying content posted by someone else on the web is what drives most human interaction today.

But what if it was all fake?

Or, at least, what if it does could be fake? What if you couldn’t trust any picture, any video, any tip ever played on the web? What if forums like Reddit were mostly filled with bots that perfectly pretended to be human?

(Ironically, this is how Reddit began, with the creation of its founders hundreds of fake accountspretending the site is popular 🙂

We tend to fake things even today with photoshopped photos, edited videos, staged poses and locations. But even that still requires some effort. an effort that AI now promises to remove.

Computers are already good enough to process vast amounts of disparate data and present it in a normal, human way, a’la ChatGPT. Feed them a few of your photos and you might end up with a whole collection of images that no one else has taken or painted.

These people don’t exist and are computer generated / image credit: thispersondoesnotexist. Com

They can write essays, poems, news articles, create realistic photographs of non-existent people, and even compose music. It may not be, it is a fact of today. It’s only a matter of time before they are powerful enough to create full videos or even full movies.

Unfortunately, there are already completely fictional influencers who are curious today but a potential scourge in the future.

Virtual robot model lil miquela has more followers than you’ll ever have / image credit: instagram. Com/lilmiquela

What if the girl you follow for makeup tips was never born and is just the product of a sly lunatic using readily available AI tools?

What if your friends’ Caribbean summer vacation never happened, and they just decided to look higher on their social media?

What if your cousin is single and has no kids in real life and all her photos are fake? What if you spent three hours chatting with your best friend only to find out it’s just a digital bot that’s learned to perfectly mimic its speech and feed itself facts about your company?

Image credit: bloomberg

Well, what if that soccer match you watched on TV never happened? What if the president didn’t say what the internet clips showed? What if the news reporter telling you about this isn’t even real?

If all things digital can be reduced to the point where they are indistinguishable from the real thing, can we ever trust anything posted on the internet again?

We are told the same technology used to determine if something was made by another machine — but given the timing, it’s pretty clear that it’s just delaying the inevitable. We cannot win.

After all, every image or video is just a series of pixels arranged based on simple, binary signals. We’re already at a point beyond which humans can’t tell the difference most of the time, so any computer detection is unlikely to beat perfect machine forgery a few years down the road.

If something we see on the internet can be invented and it’s so easy and cheap to produce, it’s inevitable that this wave of fraudulent content will come and we won’t be able to stop it like Facebook can. the even stop bots from spamming single women in your area.

The obvious answer to that is… retreat from the internet (at least the areas where it becomes a problem).

Back to basics

Eventually, we may reach a point where we can never be completely sure that there is a real person on the other side unless we can sit in front of them, see them, touch them, hear them talk.

Simply put, use our basic senses.

The only way we can be sure that no computer is involved in the conversation / image credit. Monkeybusiness, depositphotos:

This is the only alternative to digital screens.

Seeing things for yourself, experiencing life, meeting friends, family, colleagues and strangers will have much more value than the Internet, where you can’t even be sure if the person on the other end is real.

Give the machine enough information and it will be able to carry on a perfectly real conversation, pretending to be your high school friend, your brother, your sister, even your parent.

What if the “white lie” of the future is having a digital avatar to entertain your friends while you’re away? Or just pretend you’re talking to them when you’re not really giving a damn.

Microsoft’s latest tool, VALL-E, is capable of recreating anyone’s voice from just a three-second recording — and then have them tell you anything (how long before scammers pick it up to make fake calls extorting a ransom for a “kidnapped” relative?).

This is where it extends beyond just the internet. What if you couldn’t even count on something as simple as a phone call?

Alexander graham bell / image credit: history. Com

Artificial intelligence could not only disrupt vast swathes of the Internet by empowering modern human interaction, but also significantly disrupt the 150-year-old invention of the telephone, pushing us back into a pre-digital age of communication based on direct interpersonal interaction.

Can you ever be absolutely sure you’re talking to a real person and haven’t been directed to someone else trying to get you to do something using the attributes of someone you trust completely?

Singapore is already plagued by scammers pretending to be police or Chinese officials who successfully trick people into giving up. hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

And this is only among the technologically inept, easily manipulated or simply gullible. But what if you picked up the phone and the voice on the other end sounded like your mother or spouse?

How many more could fall victim to impersonation crimes fueled by machine learning models that can accurately imitate someone speaking after recording a short sample just hours or days earlier?

People were excited to work from home during the pandemic, but the rise of AI may put an end to those calls for Zoom, given how even today people are trying their best to pretend they are participating when they are not.

Image credit: videomaker. Com

What if they could just create a completely realistic persona that looks, talks and behaves like them?

It’s either the death of meetings (yay!) or, more likely, the death of remote work (no…). And it will be for your own good, because if your employer realizes that your digital clone is as effective as you, then why would they continue to pay you at all?

Education is also going to take a step back. Considering how quickly students jumped on ChatGPT to do their homework for them, how will teachers be able to test their students’ skills? Only in person.

Homework isn’t going away, just the “homework” part. Instead of picking up homework from school, it’s natural for them to do more work on it, preferably away from the computer.

Just a few years ago, tablets were touted as the obvious replacement for textbooks, but they could be gone before they took hold (or they could arrive with preloaded content and a disconnected Internet connection).

a blessing in disguise?

But, in the end, we should be happy with it. Is it the answer to all the concerns raised about our over-reliance on screen time and technology as our lives become too digitized?

Forget Facebook, just hang out with friends. Forget Zoom, meet with your colleagues instead. Forget Tinder, go back to the club and look for a date.

Technological advances in machine learning and AI may soon create a starkly polarized world where we rely heavily on this new technology to improve our productivity, but at the same time return to technology-free experiences outside of narrow circles. scope of work.

AI learning to do everything we do might as well remind us of who we really are.

Featured Image Credit: Unreal Keanu Reeves via YouTube

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