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Experts: Artificial intelligence poses real threats, but it’s not what you might think

By GBH News     Updated Mar 3, 2024

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly woven into the fabric of society, experts warn of significant threats. However, the nature of these dangers may diverge from the doomsday scenarios often portrayed in popular media.

1. The Reality of AI Impact

Artificial intelligence is already making its mark, from predicting hospital ICU stays to potentially changing the landscape of various industries. The pace of progress raises valid concerns about its integration and regulation.

Government officials and industry leaders are calling for action. The recent warning by hundreds of experts about AI's potential dangers reflects a growing consensus that the responsible use of AI should be a global priority.

The discussion about AI's impact isn't limited to hypothetical future scenarios; it's about the tangible, day-to-day effects on information exchange, employment, and personal privacy that are already unfolding.

2. AI's Double-edged Sword: Capabilities and Risks

The capabilities of AI like ChatGPT are indeed impressive, but they may also divert attention from the more 'mundane' threats posed by these technologies. Concerns range from the spread of fake news to the more subtle problems of algorithm-induced decision-making.

According to MIT Professor Aleksander Madry, while AI may not pose an existential threat in its current form, it's still crucial to address the system's manipulative potential on society, such as through targeted individual persuasion.

Experts stress that AI's rapid development can lead to unwanted biases being perpetuated, adding an additional layer of complexity to the already challenging issue of ensuring fairness and equity in the job market.

3. Navigating an AI-Driven Future

As some members of the public suggest, it may be 'Too late' to address AI's impact without major changes such as Universal Basic Income (UBI) or a new economic system to accommodate the disruptive nature of AI.

This sentiment echoes the urgency conveyed by experts in the field who believe that current regulatory efforts may not be enough to harness AI's full potential while mitigating its risks.

The call for more substantial interventions and the recognition that AI's implications are far-reaching demonstrate the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to AI governance, one that may well reshape our societal structures.

4. A Call for Proactive Measures

The consensus among experts is that while there is tremendous opportunity in AI, the potential for harm cannot be ignored. Effective measures must be put in place to protect individuals and societies from the vulnerabilities introduced by these powerful technologies.

Suggestions for action include establishing data ownership rights to prevent the exploitation of personal data, considering digital ad taxes to mitigate misinformation risks, and fostering AI research that aligns with human-centric values.

There's an acknowledgment among both experts and the public that AI's evolution must be guided with wisdom and foresight. The stakes are high, as the decisions made today will shape the future for generations to come.


Artificial intelligence is much more than just a futuristic concept; it's a present-day reality with the potential to reshape industries and everyday lives. As it permeates fields like healthcare and education, concerns mount about the need for regulation and the potential for AI to disrupt job markets, spread misinformation, and impact democracy.