There are major blockbuster advancements that have moved society from era to era, redefining what we previously understood as efficient and modern. Cars, cellphones, and even the lightbulb are just a few of the many technological advancements that first-world citizens could not imagine life without.
Obviously, all these advancements are heavily relied on throughout the world, but there is one recent invention that our reliance could become dangerous. This growing technological advancement is called “artificial intelligence” or AI. It is here to stay and will eventually take over our society if we don’t control our usage.
Don’t get it twisted, AI is an amazing tool that helps humans reach goals, complete tasks, and achieve answers much faster than the human mind could ever imagine, but at what cost?
First off, the usage of AI will wipe out countless jobs for future generations entering the workforce. This tool has already started to rip jobs away from people, even simpler occupations such as cashiers and phone receptionists. Companies use technology so they do not have to pay someone to do their work.
When Thomas Viru, a junior business student, was asked if he was nervous about AI taking away potential employment after college, he answered, “Yes one-hundred percent, I think AI is growing rapidly. It is very concerning and job loss for future employees is extremely possible. Some careers could definitely be in jeopardy down the line.”
While it is very impressive that a robot can perform jobs, companies must come to the realization that it is not right to be taking away potential jobs from actual people. Without job openings, there is unemployment, with unemployment, there is no source of income, and without income, people can fall into poverty. This seems extremely immoral.
Kim Fleming, Adjunct for the Department of Communication, said, “I do fear that many jobs may disappear as industries put their trust in AI. Especially in settings when we need human connection and empathy. AI cannot detect emotions and I worry what impact that will have in the moments we need it the most.”
Another danger that AI poses is that society has become too reliant on it on a daily basis. Dylan Lane, a junior communication student, explained, “There are some positives with artificial intelligence such as quick research, but when it comes to activities like writing papers and doing exams it could be harmful because it takes away from actually doing the work and going through the steps of working hard to reach a goal. AI can definitely make people become unmotivated.”
It is scary how much people have started to use AI for tasks that could easily get completed by basic human intelligence. For example, there are new tools, like ChatGPT, that will write an essay for a user. Students are the biggest users of this technology. Now, people are starting to get so unmotivated, uninspired, and too reliant that they will not be academically honorable or put in the actual effort to complete work on their own.
Another lingering concern about usage of AI technology is that people’s communication skills are weakening. Now, more frequently than ever, instead of having to communicate with a human, people just have to consult technology to get what they want. Removing human interaction as a normality is very risky for mental health.
Viru said, “I think human interaction is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, social media and technology has fried a lot of the younger generations’ communication skills. Everyone needs to put their phones down, go out and talk to each other.”
For entertainment, people used to have to come up with games, play outside, or even read a book. Today, there is no need to brainstorm activities because humans can always rely on technology. There is no need to go out, socialize, and make friends because technology has now become a person’s best friend. Instead of seeing younger generations playing tag, they are staring at tablets only socializing with their common ally— an electronic screen.
Snapchat has even gone as far as creating a feature called, “My AI.” This feature is a chatbot that can have full on text conversations with a Snapchat user. Society has gone from face to face communication, to texting each other, and now people get their “social interaction” by fraternizing with a source of AI.
Fleming elaborated, “There’s no denying that our reliance on mediated communication has impacted our ability to be effective communicators face-to-face, even impacting our attention spans. It truly upsells the importance of communication as an area of study. We are nothing without our ability to communicate both as a sender and a receiver of a message.”
People must remember that human interaction is vital for mental health and keeping the mind sharp. Communication seems so simple, but it is so much deeper than people could imagine. Without effective communication amongst humans, society does not run successfully.
Nick Sorrentino, a junior real estate student, added, “Usage of AI and technology can affect our communication skills down the line. Some humans are really reliant on it, but others are not. As long as we are using these tools in moderation our communication skills will not be damaged.”