Here are some of my thoughts just now on Artificial Intelligence (AI) generally.
The increasing use of AI can be a bit ‘mind-boggling’.
There is clearly an important and potentially valuable role for AI in many science and medical fields, and aspects of life in general. There is a great deal written about this subject elsewhere.
At the EuroScience Open Forum in 2022 (ESOF2022) there were some interesting discussions on dilemmas about AI in science and society. In some of the discussions I picked up on a couple of phrases and opinions which I found thought provoking:
• A suggestion that AI would be better called ‘augmented computation’.
• A suggestion (in July 2022) that when compared with human capabilities in some respects, for example in publishing, AI could be considered at the level of ‘the gifted toddler’. However, capabilities do seem to be rapidly increasing and this is resulting in current debate and news coverage.
• It is concerning that in some instances with the use of AI there are dangers of asking a system to do something that it is not designed to do, and also potentially locking in prejudices that are not transparent or immediately obvious to others.
It strikes me that AI is here to stay, and with it there is great potential for it to be used for the benefit of humankind. We are already reaping benefits. We should however be aware of the possible hype around the value and capabilities of AI.
There are reasons to proceed with optimism, but also with caution and with ‘eyes wide open’.
by Dr Julie Charlesworth 16/01/23