A.I. Among Us: Assessing The Benefits And Risks Of Artificial Intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence is exploding and so is concern about its potential dangers. As experts weigh in on how to ethically use A.I., leaders are discussing how to regulate it. Dave Davis explores the benefits and risks of the emerging technology in an Oklahoma's Own Original.

Wednesday, July 26th 2023, 10:36 pm


Artificial intelligence is past the point of being science fiction.

A.I. is being used now and has been for years in everything from facial recognition and self-driving cars, to language translation and games.

More recent examples of the power of A.I. are chatbots and ChatGPT. GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.

"When you type in a question to A.I., it comes up with the most probable word to finish the answer,” Dr. Brett McKinney explained. “Language emerges, so it looks like it’s talking and thinking."

McKinney is a professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Tulsa.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence led to the founding of Center for Open AI, or CAIS.

The organization published a 22-word open letter in late May, signed by dozens of academics and experts.

It reads, "Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

"It’s a bit alarmist, but we need to discuss implications so it’s not happening to us," said McKinney.

McKinney believes the ultimate purpose of A.I. should be to benefit humans.

Cheryl Lawson uses A.I. every day. She founded Social Media Tulsa and is an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.

Lawson understands the fear surrounding artificial intelligence, but wants people to know it can help in everyday life.

"I get a little bit of the apprehension,” Lawson said. “But for the most part, people are in awe of the day-to-day things; that it can save them time and sometimes money."

While the technology helps Lawson with her job, many are concerned it could take jobs from people.

One study estimates A.I. caused 4,000 job losses in May of 2023.

The University of Oklahoma is set to host two A.I.-related boot camps with Fullstack Academy by the end of August. The classes will offer participants a certificates in A.I. Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.

O.U. Professor Dr. Belinda Biscoe sees the potential for A.I. to create jobs.

"As A.I. begins to unfortunately take over jobs and other kinds of skills, there are things that at this point A.I. is not capable of doing. And these are what we call in continuing education ‘soft skills,’" Dr. Biscoe said.

Biscoe points to statistics from several agencies, including the Labor Bureau, that demand for A.I. professionals is expected to jump 36 percent over the next ten years. The average for other jobs is about six percent.

Zip Recruiter shows about 2,300 A.I. positions open in Oklahoma, with the starting salaries above $80,000.

"We just think that some of these jobs that are emerging with A.I. will help to boost our workforce and our economy here in Oklahoma," Biscoe said.

Each of these experts agree that this emerging technology should be regulated, and that Americans’ right to privacy should be considered.

"How can we make sure we’re benefitting?” McKinney wondered. “And avoiding a situation where we don’t know what’s real or what’s false."

Biscoe believes the conversation should focus on balancing individual rights with the rights of the collective.

“I don’t know that we’ve solved that yet,” Biscoe said. "We’re probably going to need regulatory bodies to establish standards and codes of conduct that help to guide our reasonable ethical fair and responsible use of A.I."

“You have people who say, ‘I will never own a smartphone,’” Lawson said. "I think you will have those same people say, ‘I don't want to participate in A.I.’ And there will be ways to opt out. Right now, the way is: don’t use it."


Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

July 26th, 2023

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

Top Headlines

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024