Power of AI to Analyze Personal Data Could Lead to ‘Communist’ State of Control

Simon McCarthy-Jones has written a must-read commentary for techxplore.com. In it, he voices some of the fears we have over AI and technology taking over and becoming the monster called SKYNET. He details a frightening proposition, but also offers advice on how to avoid a dystopian future in which AI takes over as a communist infiltrator of governments.

In 2019, the billionaire investor Peter Thiel claimed that AI was “literally communist,” McCarthy-Jones writes. AI could allow a centralizing power to monitor citizens and know more about them than they know about themselves, which China is already doing because it has, “eagerly embraced AI.”

“We already know AI’s potential to support totalitarianism by providing an Orwellian system of surveillance and control,” McCarthy-Jones writes. “But AI also gives totalitarians a philosophical weapon. As long as we knew ourselves better than the government did, liberalism could keep aspiring totalitarians at bay.”

AI, however, allows big tech companies to collect petabytes of data on how we behave and how we think. Through machine-learning algorithms, the companies can figure out everything about us—essentially, who we are, our tastes and our interests. From films and books to preferences of friends, the list is voluminous. It even knows if we are likely to stay with our spouse or if we will try to kill ourselves.

“The problem is not AI improving our self-knowledge,” McCarthy-Jones writes. “The problem is a power disparity in what is known about us. Knowledge about us exclusively in someone else’s hands is power over us. But knowledge about us in our own hands is power for us.”

He advocates the idea of “nothing about us without us” for the AI age, and a return to privacy.

read more at techxplore.com