Skip to main content

The SEC Newgate AI Weekly

AI Concept
08 August 2023
Digital and Insight
artificial intelligence

As the AI landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Ruby Tyson takes us through yet another week packed with announcements in the world of artificial intelligence. 

The dual power of evolving AI 

As the world of AI evolves, it wields a dual power, eliciting both awe and apprehension with each development. The narrative is complex and ever-changing: one moment, we’re reading about an AI-powered brain implant helping to restore movement in a quadriplegic man; another, DeepMind expands our insights into neglected diseases and then, almost in the same breath, we are confronted with the unsettling prospect of AI potentially replacing our jobs. (Goldman Sachs recently predicted 18% of work to be automated by AI).  

Revolutionising architecture and entertainment 

This week, architects and movie extras are on the chopping block, with AI rumoured to revolutionise the future of architecture and design through the likes of Midjourney, Dall-E and relatively new start up, XKool. AI has the ability to automate the entirety of the design package within minutes. Stripping out the time-consuming tasks that could arguably stunt the creative process if you’re bogged down in the admin of it all.  

Similarly, movie extras may now have to compete with the ‘digital avatar’ version of themselves when auditioning for background acting roles, raising new questions around consent amidst post-selection body scans.   

Tech giants and the AI shift 

News on tech companies laying off staff doesn’t help the cause with tech giants, Meta, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon investing mass sums of money into AI servers over employee wages. In particular, Microsoft are currently working on an AI-enabled Office365, and if reports are accurate, suggest that the majority of the company is now invested in AI initiatives. 

Navigating complexities: Privacy, productivity, and policy 

According to TechCrunch in an attempt to humanise AI, Meta are training AI chatbots to have different personas. While this will enable better flowing conversations, it may have the potential to collect further information on users to ensure the chatbot is personalised to the individual.  

So, as AI continues to learn more human behaviours and answers to complex questions, concerns around privacy, data violations, accessibility and bias remain at the forefront as governments and tech leaders grapple with regulating AI. ‘Hallucinations’ for the moment are here to stay despite McKinsey Global Institute reporting that if AI is reliable it could contribute approximately US$2.6 trillion to US$4.4 trillion to economies.  

Amidst AI's evolution, challenges persist. So, while there is absolute legitimacy in the fear of AI making some jobs almost obsolete and general concerns about regulation, there is also something to say about the role productivity plays with the advancement of new technologies. As noted by Phil Simon in his recent musings, the iPhone and the internet were supposed to make us more productive. While these developments undoubtably have in many areas, they simultaneously create other avenues to procrastinate and ‘doom scroll’ as well.  

Seeking understanding: AI education and policy advocacy 

The task of navigating through the AI landscape calls for coordinated initiatives that governments around the world are actively experiencing. For instance, there is a Congressional Bootcamp on AI being hosted at Stanford University this week.