By Komal Gupta

WE humans keep on inventing new technology to make life easier and to a large extent we already have many mod con devices which do half our work! This is such a good thing, right? Now we will not have to work hard and increasingly some robots keep doing our work. Just a few years back we needed books to study and become knowledgeable but now because we can spend some time studying online, as in the recent Covid-19 lockdown situations, we made more use of our hand smart mobile phones…and we are still using them almost non-stop.
The covid pandemic is over more or less and we are not getting any new reasons not to use mobiles while studying or for the purpose of being educated in general.
How can it be bad for us to make our life and our work easier with the invention of new technological devices, robots or even Artificial Intelligence? Why are we not talking about the dangers of AI? Artificial intelligence (AI) uses computers to do things that particularly need human intelligence. So not only our physical ability is being judged but also our mental ability of doing things as well!
Let’s shed some light on this side of AI. While AI offers promising solutions to a lot of our problems or questions — it also poses major hazards to human existence be it through social media or otherwise by harming us socially, physically or economically. The concept of misinformation cannot be this common; creating “deepfakes” to threaten others and violate their privacy is something some of us are well aware of or some of us haven’t even heard about! A new AI-powered software made it easy for anyone to generate nude photographs of women by simply giving a picture of the target to the software. The app is called “DeepNude” and this is just one example of deepfakes generated through AI.
Depending too much on technology can result in loss of our normal critical thinking skills as well. When we were first introduced to mobile phones, we came to know that now we do not need to remember the contact numbers of people, we do not have to walk to someone’s house just to talk to them or if we are feel bored with life and seeking some company. We do not need to go out to spend time. We can simply play games on our mobile phones to pass time.
All these changes in our usual living pattern before high tech conveniences came into our lives is already affecting our ability to remember, memory recall has started to diminish. With even more advanced technologies coming up, we may not have to remember a single thing by ourselves – this will make us more prone to dementia and memory loss as we grow older!
Similarly, we are slowly losing our ability to pay attention to one thing and stay focused. The notifications popping up on our mobile phones, rings, alerts, all shift our perceptions so that it can cause long lasting difficulty in paying attention to one thing at a time. Our habit of playing games on mobile phone and not actually doing any physical activity can make our muscles weak!
If we don’t move out of our homes to get some outdoors sunshine how will we get our natural vitamin D that our body needs to stay fighting fit? Living an indoors lazy sedentary life for most of us will affect our personalities and character, surely? We will be living more artificially and superficially if we do not move out but stay constantly in one place indoors with our smart phones glued to our ears or in our hands.
If you notice the situation is already so bad that a student without a mobile phone cannot spend his day in school and college! Personally, I wanted to experiment if I could live without my mobile, and I left it in a relative’s house for a while on charge and left for my job. And it is true that it is quite difficult for students to live without mobile phones, I’m a daily commuter and go to school and to my part-time job and without my phone I was unable to live in peace. It was in intolerable situation that I had left my phone behind somewhere!
All this may sound hilarious but it is true. Our technical mod cons or devices have almost become new organs of our living, breathing body but at the same time they are damaging us in a myriad vital ways. We don’t seem to be realizing this.
Ask your AI on snapchat or may be to ChatGPT “How can AI affect people?” or “What impacts can AI have on people?” The answers will be with very positive points. Then what about the negative points? Who will answer that? Maybe your AI devices will in time to come…ask them and then you will know that even AI know the ill effects of extreme technology!
Let me list some ill effects here: AI algorithms can be biased based on the parent company which has information which it will give to the AI. To answer your questions they will go through all the information online and get the job done by collecting data matching your questions, that means either they are feeding data or gathering data. Are there privacy concerns, bias and fairness? Hard to believe in ethical AI? Take it from there and come to your conclusions and draw your own lines about how much you want to be beholden to today’s technological gizmos to make life sound like a soft dream.

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