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Let's talk about AI.
In The Future of the Future
Renee Ferguson
Harvard GenEd 2023
Apr 04, 2023
Many of the articles I have seen about new advancements in AI technology – including the NYT AI series from earlier this month – argue that AI chatbots like GPT-4 are very impressive, but still fundamentally flawed. This article from The Atlantic (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/12/chatgpt-openai-artificial-intelligence-writing-ethics/672386/) advises readers to treat ChatGPT “like a toy, not a tool.” But at the same time, influential figures like Elon Musk are taking a public stand against further advancement in AI beyond that already developed for GPT-4. Different sources express different opinions about how powerful AI technology is and the threat it potentially poses to the dissemination of true information and to jobs in a variety of sectors. Interestingly, ChatGPT’s faults such as its tendency to “hallucinate” and make up false information make it problematic, but many people find its potential capabilities to take over human jobs equally threatening. When considering the future effect of AI on jobs, I think it is helpful to look to the past. For hundreds of years, humans have worried that increased automation and access to new technology will replace jobs, leaving large swaths of the population unemployed. However, thus far these predictions have been incorrect. While we as humans may be predisposed to believe that we are living in unprecedented times, I am optimistic that we will find a way to adapt to new AI technology and use it to become more efficient and improve living standards, just as we have since the dawn of mankind.
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Renee Ferguson

Harvard GenEd 2023
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