How is A.I. Technology Impacting the Future?

On Nov. 30, 2022, tech startup OpenAI launched an artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology known as ChatGPT, which emulates human language to produce forms of writing such as essays, articles, and even poetry. The technology responsible for ChatGPT is GPT-3, a machine-learning model that uses the internet to produce a text within seconds. OpenAI is a non-profit research company behind several A.I. programs. They aim to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole.” But how does such powerful artificial intelligence technology benefit humanity? Better yet, does such technology actually benefit society or threaten it?

When we asked students how they felt about the technology, we were met with varying positive and negative responses. Senior Jack Tao believes that “A.I. technology is both helpful and harmful” and describes how he uses ChatGPT to answer difficult AP Physics questions. Tao says he “searches for a problem, and ChatGPT will provide [him] with step-by-step instructions” and thinks Chat GPT can render jobs like tutoring obsolete. 

While ChatGPT is a language model that generates human-like responses, Open A.I. has also devised other programs, such as DALLE-E, which generates images from text descriptions. For example, searching for a “golden doodle in the style of Pablo Picasso” will create an image such as this:

An image of a golden doodle generated by DALLE-E

One of our concerns with language models like ChatGPT and other A.I. technology is the effect on an individual’s creativity and individuality. Digital artists, for example, are against leading A.I. image generators like DALLE-E because their models tend to train on images available on the internet without consent. Even writers are affected by A.I., as essays written by it can sound robotic if they seem too structured. Senior Candela Jimenez Lopez believes Chat GPT is “terrible and takes away individuality. A.I. doesn’t capture the emotion of human writing.” While ChatGPT has not mastered the perfect essay, it leaves us wondering how good of an essay A.I. will be able to generate in the future. Will people rely on this technology instead of doing the writing themselves?

For now, A.I. technology is starting to show its impact on society through programs like Chat GPT, and we should keep examining its influence as technology advances. Is such technology like the Greek myth of Pandora’s box?

After Zeus gifted Pandora a special box and instructed her not to open it, Pandora’s curiosity got the better of her, leading her to go against what she was told. As a result, her thoughtless actions resulted in irreversible physical and emotional curses upon humanity. Comparably, although humans might wonder what life would be like with such A.I. programs, once this technology is brought into society, the box cannot be closed. Now that artificial intelligence is just one search away, there is no going back. If this is for better or for worse, we have yet to see.