Inter-school Debate on “Humanity Should Fear Advances in AI”

Cross Posted from Linkedin.

I recently participated in an inter-school debate. The motion was “Humanity should fear advances in AI”. I argued for the motion, mainly because I wanted to challenge myself. 

I opened with an introduction that I got written by DALL-E. At the end of my intro, I told everybody that the paragraph wasn’t written by me, but an AI and implored them to think about what this means for the future of debating and content writing. 

These were my main points: 

1. The first point I made was about biases in AI. A lot of my opponents used the quote “Don’t fear Artificial Intelligence, fear natural stupidity”. I was able to use my point to refute this quote be talking about how the flawed, biased, and at times, stupid decisions of humans, lead to biased datasets.

2. My second point was about data privacy. Giving the example of the Cambridge Analytical scandal, I talked about the lack of proper rules and regulations on AI and how our data is utilised by it.

3. My third point was about the possibility of a technological singularity. Even if AI isn’t able to achieve sentience, it could still pose a threat to humanity if uncontrolled such as for military applications.

4. My final point was about how AI poses a threat to job security. A lot of my opponents pointed out that AI generates jobs as well. But these jobs aren’t the same as the ones that it displaces. Most workers do not have the training to be eligible for such kinds of technical jobs. In India, the skilled sector is still coming up, and having a competitor like AI could ruin our economy.

Now, for the record, I don’t believe any of my points are basis enough to just not pursue the applications of AI. You could make similar arguments for nuclear energy, biotechnology or any other upcoming tech. We should, however, remain aware of the caveats, and proceed cautiously.

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