Discover more from Ed3 World: Metaverse for Education Newsletter
Real Threats of AI: Metaverse for Education Newsletter Issue #25
How close are we to human extinction because of AI?
This monthly newsletter serves as your bridge from the real world to the advancements of web3 & the metaverse, specifically contextualized for education. If you haven’t already subscribed, join here:
Dear Educators & Friends,
Sam Altman and the AI crew are not backing down from their push to seriously consider regulations on AI technology. Yesterday, they came out with another statement asking for AI policy intervention. This one was short and to the point:
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
For more context, this previous letter gets a bit deeper into AI destroying humanity.
🤔 It’s quite interesting that while these AI titans are asking for regulation, they are continuing to train GPT-4 (potentially GPT-5) and building AI products that are onboarding hundreds of millions of users. The incentives seem misaligned here and something feels a bit fishy. Perhaps, as AI expert Geoff Hinton says, “it cannot be stopped” at this point.
So for this issue, I thought it would be useful to summarize & dive into the risks and threats of AI from both a practical level (short term) and existential level (long term). The existential risks are assuming that AI will gain sentience, or the capacity for self-awareness and cognitive ability.
Immediate Risks of AI
🙅♀️ Misinformation: Sometimes, AI “hallucinates” and gives you the wrong information; AI can generate content that is believable, like the images above
🔢 Algorithmic Bias: Training data can be inherently biased based on developer decisions; Data can also be biased due to flawed data sampling where certain groups are over or underrepresented
🎨 Intellectual property theft: AI uses previous human-generated content to create new content but does not credit the original sources in any way
🚽 Violation of privacy & data: More of our data is available online than we think and we don’t necessarily have control over what AI consumes and shares; ChatGPT has already had a data breach 😕
🔎 Lack of transparency: Open AI is free to use but the cost is our data and we don’t really know what they’re doing with it
Existential Risks of AI
💣 Weaponization: AI can provide complex solutions to anyone in the world who wants to build chemical weapons, cyber attacks, and other weapons of destruction; With sentience, AI may want to control those systems
🎭 Manipulation & deception: As AI trains on human values, those values can be used to manipulate and deceive humans to pursue certain goals; With sentience, AI may create it’s own goals that may be anti-human
🏛 Loss of self-governance: As we rely more on AI, humans may lose their ability to be independent; With sentience, AI may take advantage of this overdependence
👑 Imbalance of power: Small groups of people may be able to gain incredible amounts of power (even more than today) toward oppressive systems; With sentience, AI may determine who those people are
🚔 Loss of control: As companies and governments give more power to AI, AI will have more control of our operational systems; With sentience, AI may decide to manipulate those systems
Although I won’t specify how each of these risks serve as a major problem for education, I think you can draw conclusions about how students will be impacted. I am working on a set of strategies for leaders to contextualize this productively in education. Ping me on LinkedIn if you're interested.
The resources below will help you uncover the details of these risks and why AI developers believe it could cause human extinction.
FYI, I’m actually not trying to scare you. I’m not even trying to paint AI in a bad light. I still believe AI has the potential to reimagine how we live, learn, and earn. But I also believe that the more we understand the risks, the more we can prepare for them. A positive future with AI is possible, we just have to aggressively pursue it.
Vriti & k20 Educators
Learn about AI Threats
A critical brief of Altman’s latest statement on AI as an ‘extinction risk’
Is OpenAI really transparent?
📹 Godfather of AI explains why AI is better at learning & collaborating than we are (start 9:56)
🔉 AI experts talk about misinformation apocalypse, losing control, and sentience
How AI can predict & manipulate human behaviors
What do we do about Biases in AI?
Could AI generated disinformation threaten 2024 elections?
Could AI generated bias & misinformation threaten public health?
Generative AI’s intellectual property problem
📹 Personal data, surveillance, deep-fakes, are only the start of privacy concerns
Generative AI has more of your business data than you think
Chilling paper on weaponization of AI
Error prone AI used to control weapons
What we can learn from Wall-E about overdependence on AI
🔉 Why AI developers keep designing technologies that they think may destroy humanity
🔉 Can AI take our jobs? Producing an entire podcast episode using AI
An interactive overview of short & long term AI risks
European Union AI Act may ban Open-Source API access
Do Something about AI Threats
Here are some recommendations to de-risk AI, that are within our locus of control.
Use it. I know this sounds counter-intuitive but the more you learn how these systems work, the more we can disperse power. Imagine if only large companies were using AI to monopolize markets & manipulate consumers.
Lock up your personal data. Avoid using personal information or company data in ChatGPT or other AI tools. Try to keep personal data off vulnerable sites.
Stay informed & engaged with reputable resources. Supplement opinion pieces with research from experts.
United States AI Bill of Rights
Future of Life Institute is working on mitigating risks of AI
Center on long term risk is addressing worst-case scenarios in AI
Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence is researching AI safety
Talk to others about AI. Attend AI events, join communities, and share your concerns with others. Everyone is experiencing this together. Join Ed3DAO to talk with other educators about AI.
📅 Ed3 Events
Web3 & Education Social Networking Event (Jun 1, Ed3verse)
Weekly Coffee Chat on Web3 in Education (every Saturday, Discord)
Metaverse Book Club (Jun 3, Zoom & Ed3verse)
Web3 & Education writing group (Jun 25, monthly, Zoom)
Leading Your School or District During the AI & Web3 Revolution (Jun 26, ISTE Live Conference)
3 Ways to Use AI, Web3, & Emerging Tech in Your Schools (Jun 27, ISTE Live Conference)
Mint an Ed3 Educators NFT for life-time access to web3 events, content, conferences, & other perks… and to support the work of this newsletter.
This week’s Metaverse for Education newsletter is about AI threats. More to come on other web3 & emerging tech topics. We’re excited to bring education into the Metaverse & help you leverage the opportunities in the new world.