Noting how, since the advent of the smartphone, we have already lost the ability to remember phone numbers or navigate without GPS, ForwardLook worries that AI assistants will turn us into imbeciles, incapable of making our own choices without first asking for their advice. Worse, citing profits as the only decision maker behind the companies making these algorithms, they will make us easy to manipulate once we can't function without them.
While the issue of the arrival of such transformative technology is a sensitive one, it is likely that profit will be the only determinant in deciding which approach dominates. This was true for social networks, internet aggregators, digital maps and instant messenger services.
With that in mind, it might be that AI assistants that deliberately engineer the dependence and short-term gratification of their users will be the version that we ultimately live with.
In this way humans may become both dependent on AI and overly trusting in the authenticity of its answers. With some of the world’s biggest and most powerful corporations developing these AI assistants, the systems may ultimately be used to continue long-running projects of perception management.
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