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Let's talk about AI.
In The Future of the Future
Martin Bigil-Rico
Harvard GenEd 2023
Apr 04, 2023
These articles managed to teach me a lot about how AI works, the problems AI still faces and how it can run into common problems, and where AI is looking to head in the near future. I have used chatGPT a few times out of curiosity at the beginning of this year and was astonished at what it could produce. In my class, we found it actually managed to get a perfect score on the true/false problems of our psets like it was nothing. This certainly proves not only of its current capabilities but also where it can go from here. Having considered all these remarkable abilities, however, these articles did leave me wanting to learn more about how AI works. While the "Learning how a “large language model” operates" article was useful in understanding the broad layout of AI, I found it did not go into the technical aspects of it which as a computer science major, I wanted to learn more about with me having questions regarding simply how do the algorithms work and how does the AI form an output (from all this data it has access to) in order to produce an advanced and correct output. One thing that particularly jumped out to me while doing these readings was the mention of the letter signed by Elon Musk asking to pause the development of AI for half a year. Upon further inspection, I found this article by the Guardian which speaks on the origin of the letter and what the concerns causing the letter are. The article mainly touches on the danger that AI can have influence decision-making regarding serious issues like climate change and even war. As more people look to Ai as a trusted "all intelligent" source of information i certainly think its mishaps will have a greater effect (such as we read of it being prone to giving false information) and thus I see this letter as more asking for not only more safety protocols but also a more developed system so that events like these are avoided. Not mentioned in this article but also a main concern to the public is the effect that AI will have on the job market as an intelligent machine can fulfill the work of millions of jobs in the U.S thus leaving many potentially unemployed. This is a main concern for me as well and I certainly think the government and these tech companies must start planning and cooperating now to find a solution to this potential problem before it is too late (especially now with current economical troubles brought upon us). Overall, while I think AI is nothing to worry about for now, I do strongly think that a lot of planning is going to have to be put into its development to ensure that its impact on human civilization is only for the better.

Martin Bigil-Rico

Harvard GenEd 2023
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