Your article on the likelihood of apprehensive influences of Artificial Intelligence on human societies in the coming years was insightful (“Artificial Intelligence will transform our planet”, Gulf News, November 7). While it is interesting to note that AI would be immensely used by respective governments as a tool for gathering intelligence on behavioural patterns, political and cultural affiliations of people; it also raises questions on using the same technology to manipulate peoples thoughts. In fact, social media has already implemented such a strategy through efficient algorithms.
While users keep getting caught up in the endless contents that pop up because each time they find there is something more interesting that suits their personal tastes and orientations, social media also keeps a track of everything we do online. In comparison, AI would most likely be extensively pervasive because it would work its way into every aspect of our thoughts and habits. Social and governmental institutions would expand their reach to targeted communities in order to predict and evaluate trends.
Trade and commerce between countries largely would rely on the information AI brings to their decision making agenda and develop products and services accordingly and forecast business volumes.
On one hand there is huge potential for what AI is going to generate in terms of assessing micro level behavioural patterns. On the other hand there is real threat of AI acquiring the role of a manipulative modern Frankenstein in the hands of state and other corporate entities. Such a situation could entail a need for stringent regulatory framework to protect communities from being taken advantage of human vulnerabilities.
In fact, factors influencing our thoughts have existed since the time of human history in the form of cultural practices, religion, social institutions, education and more. But with AI, such influences are more invading in nature. - The reader is a resident of Dubai.