The unintended consequences of AI

ChatGPT search bar displayed on dark computer screen. Justine Baginski/Lariat

The use of computer-generated artificial intelligence has skyrocketed in recent years, yielding some of the quickest feats in human history, both good and bad.  

Computers that used intelligence were created in 1950. By the 1980s, the first expert computer system, made of a knowledge base and an engine capable of making decisions, was born. Jumping 43 years to 2023, there were more than 100 million AI users. 

Students have been able to use AI to cheat through essays and tests. Even with programs of their own meant to catch their students, teachers can’t firmly prove that a student used a computer program. 

“It makes cheating easy,” said a senior highschool student, their name undisclosed for privacy purposes. “There’s all kinds of services out there nowadays that even I’ve used. Some help with essays, some with math and it’s really endless.”

“BestColleges has surveyed 1,000 current undergraduate and graduate students to hear their perspectives on AI in higher education,” said Jane Nam, a staff writer for BestColleges’ Data Center, on a BestColleges website article. “Results show that 56% of college students have used AI on assignments or exams. Another 41% of students say they have not, and 4% prefer not to answer.” 

The new AI program “Sora” is now capable of producing life-like images and videos. People have been caught using this video program to create fake videos, some for illegal pornographic use. Many are worried about being potentially framed for crimes they never committed.  

Look, the problem is we already have this problem with deep fakes,” said Sara Eisen, a reporter on CNBC news. “…This is an election year. So, for this technology to come to the fore when the U.S. and 60% of the world population is going to the polls, that is very scary.” 

In the same news recording, the news reporter David Fabner continued to utter his concerns about AI videos.  

“I’m sticking to my predictions,” he said, referring to his belief that AI will take over the news reporter’s jobs. “We’re all done for.” 

Similarly, Hollywood has been facing disruptions related to AI video and keeping movie makers in business.  

“AI video has officially disrupted Hollywood,” said Rowan Cheung, the founder of The Rundown, in a twitter post. “Tyler Perry just stopped his $800M film studio expansion due to OpenAI’s Sora.” Further in the post, it features “mind-blowing” example videos that have been created by Sora.  

An Oklahoma father and his sons were arrested on child pornography charges when uploading photos to AI. 

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), an Open AI cyber tip, about a user uploading explicit images of a child, was obtained on October 14, 2023, through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” said Fox25 news in an online article.  

Social media influencers have also voiced their fear about how easy it could be for AI to create fake videos of events that never happened. 

AI makes for a tough competitor when you are an author. Many other “authors” have tried to use computer programs to write their works for them, whether that be screenplays, books, or even poems.  

“For a vast number of book writers, artificial intelligence is a threat to their livelihood and the very idea of creativity,” said APnews in its online article. “More than 10,000 of [authors] endorsed an open letter from the Authors Guild this summer, urging AI companies not to use copyrighted work without permission or compensation.”  

Many AI systems use copyrighted work to produce higher quality content. Google faced many lawsuits in 2023 about AI stealing users’ data from their own documents. The conclusion to these lawsuits isn’t clear, but Google claimed it has been transparent about its AI use for years.

Workers such as customer service representatives or Amazon employees also face the threat of AI taking over their jobs. It is many times cheaper to use AI than to hire human employees. Attempting to call a business and get another person on the other line for help may only continue to get more and more difficult.  

“[I] find it terrifying,” said Tracy Stevenson, who’s experienced AI on nearly every social media platform and had just watched “Mission Impossible, Dead Reckoning,” which featured an AI villain. “I don’t want it to get smarter … Tom Cruise save us please.”

Artificial Intelligence has undoubtedly started to change the world, but with exponential growth comes change … good and bad.