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The “Godfather of A.I.,” Geoffrey Hinton, quit Google out of fear that his former employer intends to deploy artificial intelligence in ways that will harm human beings. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton recently told The New York Times.
But stomping out the door does nothing to atone for his own actions, and it certainly does nothing to protect conservatives – who are the primary target of A.I. programmers – from being canceled.
Here are five things to know as the battle over A.I. turns hot:
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1. Google’s new monopoly on “Truth”
Elon Musk recently revealed that Google co-founder Larry Page and other Silicon Valley leaders want AI to establish a “digital god” that “would understand everything in the world. … [A]nd give you back the exact ‘right’ thing instantly.” It is hard to imagine anything more dangerous to a pluralistic, democratic Republic than a single dispenser of “truth.”
The Biden administration has seen the potential of AI to push its political message. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)
That nobody has a monopoly on truth is the prerequisite for pluralism. But pluralism is what authoritarians abhor and what AI tech executives cannot tolerate. Conservatives have already seen how Big Tech censors and cancels us based on our beliefs and political viewpoints. AI is being turbocharged to do this in limitless ways.
2. Brainwashing is no longer science fiction
Americans are just beginning to understand that the dangers of AI go far beyond economic disruption. They also go beyond silencing speech. The newest gadgets being powered by AI now permit tech companies to capture our most intimate thoughts and our most sensitive data. They have already begun to map our minds, so they can manipulate our thoughts.
Duke Law professor Nita Farahany (a biologist, philosopher and human rights attorney) has been sounding the alarm, explaining how the Chinese government is using AI to analyze facial expressions and brain waves to punish those who are not faithful communists.
Using similar technology, U.S. tech companies may be able to hack into the minds of users to steal PIN codes, according to Farahany. They are also tracking brain waves via sensors embedded in watches and headphones which can determine which political messages are most persuasive to a user.
AI will soon empower lying politicians to deceive more voters than ever before. When Farahany tried to explain these dangers at the World Economic Forum, the snobs of Davos applauded enthusiastically. They see AI’s dangers as an asset.
3. The GOP is truly the Grand OLD Party
Republicans in Congress who are even talking about AI are focusing on how many nurses and truck drivers might lose their jobs, not about the serious threat AI poses to the very essence of who we are as humans. Economic disruption is most assuredly going to happen, but Republicans are missing the profound implications to liberty.
In the first AI hearing held by the House Innovation Subcommittee this year, Big Tech lobbyists admitted that self-driving car manufacturers would gobble up every imaginable bit of data “for our own safety” but assured the committee that they would endeavor not to share this data with other companies. Shockingly, nobody asked the obvious: what assurances do we have that these companies will not use this data against their own customers?
You’d think that the lessons of Big Tech censorship would draw every Republican into the AI fight. That has not happened yet.
Americans are just beginning to understand that the dangers of AI go far beyond economic disruption. They also go beyond silencing speech.
4. Democrats have us where they want us
Democrats in the Biden administration and in Congress have a much better understanding that AI is the greatest tool they’ve ever had to socialize America. Many are pretending to call for a pause to AI development while stomping on the accelerator to develop it as fast as possible.
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Here’s reality: the Biden administration has already pledged to spend $140 million to establish seven AI research institutes, and it just created the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee to chart “a path for responsible and inclusive AI.” Even more telling, the Biden White House has indicated to it will direct federal agencies to “use AI tools” in their work. Nary a pause in the Dems’ use of AI can be found.
5. But failure is not an option
Communist China just released regulations mandating that AI be programmed to reflect “socialist core values” and avoid information that could undermine “state power.”
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The Chinese government and other authoritarians seek to harness this new technological power for control of information and the masses. They will use it extensively in warfare, too.
The trick is to lead the development of AI globally while enforcing appropriate guardrails to prevent the left from attacking our freedoms. The window to achieve both is small and shrinking.
Dan Schneider is vice president of MRC Free Speech America