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Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

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Opinion

Why I’m guardedly optimistic about artificial intelligence

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Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

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Artificial intelligence (AI) became an integral part of Americans’ daily lives in 2023. Looking ahead to 2024, anticipations are high for advancements in AI technology, with implications for industries like healthcare, transportation and education. But the breakneck pace of advancements has raised ethical concerns about its effects on society.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid is anxious about the widespread job displacement expected across various industries due to AI. She also sees AI’s potential for good and its capacity to bring about beneficial changes on a global scale.

So the idea that a chatbot can essentially do like a significant percentage of my job for me, and for countless other people and countless other industries across the country — it’s scary. But when I talk about these anxieties with my son, who is 12, and also quite wise, and who has spent the entirety of his life in close contact with digital miracles of one kind or another, when I talk to him about this, he asks me what, to my mind, is an excellent question.

He says, “Well, why do you think artificial intelligence would necessarily be bad?”

Well, because I don’t know, because humans are corruptible, and AI confers power, and power corrupts.

But anyway, then he says to me, “Wait, but AI is theoretically smarter than humans. So isn’t it more likely that it’ll be better than us, maybe able to solve problems that are beyond us, like global hunger, or even help us learn to treat each other better and more fairly?”

Okay, that’s possible. In my own life, I’ve actually started to engage with AI, despite considerable apprehension, and I have discovered that there are absolutely ways that I can use it to significantly beneficial effect.

It’s almost here 2024, we’ve collectively spent the last seven years by my count, saying, Oh, next year will be better. And we’ve meant it, I meant it. Or we’ve tried to convince ourselves that we mean it. And a recent Ipsos poll found that 70% of survey takers were optimistic about the coming year. Amazing. So I’m here to tell you that 2024 is going to be just great, mostly because the alternative is too depressing. In particular, I am going to focus on the rise of AI because this is a topic that concerns me personally a great deal. And it’s something I definitely foresee being an even more major topic of consideration in the coming year than it is today. I’m a writer, I come up with ideas, and then I put them on paper. And I do this for a living. So the idea that a chatbot can essentially do like a significant percentage of my job for me, and for countless other people and countless other industries across the country. It’s scary. But when I talk about these anxieties with my son, who is 12, and also quite wise, and who has spent the entirety of his life in close contact with digital miracles of one kind or another, when I talk to him about this, he asks me what to my mind is an excellent question. He says, Well, why do you think artificial intelligence would necessarily be bad? Well, because I don’t know because humans are corruptible. And AI confers power and power corrupts. But anyway, then he says to me, wait, but AI is theoretically smarter than humans. So isn’t it more likely that it’ll be better than us may be able to solve problems that are beyond us, like global hunger, or even help us learn to treat each other better and more fairly. Okay, that’s possible. In my own life, I’ve actually started to engage with AI, despite considerable apprehension, and I have discovered that there are absolutely ways that I can use it to significantly beneficial effect. As an example, for the past few months, I’ve been using this AI personal assistant service, it’s called duckbill. And it does kind of everything, it’ll import your kids schedules into your calendar, it’ll make you a DMV appointment, it’ll give you suggestions for anniversary gifts. And this is all through an AI portable, and thus very accessible and even affordable. So outsourcing like this is something that would never have crossed my mind even a few months ago. But now there’s an entire section of my brain, let’s call it the mom part of my brain that feels decluttered like someone stopped by to take a whole bunch of stuff off my plate and then just left, thereby freeing me up to work on things that actually advance my career or that actually, I don’t know, make me happy. Will AI developments result in job losses? Absolutely. Absolutely. They will. And yeah, and it is a scary thing. But humans are nothing if not endlessly inventive. And I have to believe that AI will also create jobs that we simply cannot conceive of right now. Not to mention the positive developments. It has the potential to bring in the fields of safety, transit, healthcare, and so on. So will AI save us all? Maybe in 2024? We’ll find out the answer. I sincerely hope that this segment does not age poorly. Happy to hear

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