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Artificial Intelligence – user beware Privacy and security are crucial

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most transformative and revolutionary technologies in recent history. From its humble beginnings to its widespread applications today, AI has garnered significant attention for its potential benefits as well as the inherent threats it poses.

Discussions and experiments in technology date back to 1946, when Alan Turing initiated the study of computer-based intelligence, and the term Artificial intelligence was coined as an academic discipline in 1956 by John McCarthy. Since then, AI has been central in many Sci-Fi TV shows and movies, but its potentially disruptive nature emerged with movies such as the 1984 War Games starring Matthew Broderick, 2004’s I Robot classic with Will Smith, and 2008’s Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf where it took on a threatening nature to human existence.

With the emergence of technologies like Alexa, Sari, ChatGPT, and other AI advancements, it is undeniable that science fiction has become a tangible reality. The impact of these
AI technologies has been profoundly beneficial across various sectors.

AI has increased efficiency and productivity in business, improved decision-making and problem-solving, making significant breakthroughs in healthcare and medical research, and automation and robotics. Despite its numerous advantages, AI also brings forth certain concerns that need to be addressed. Many are concerned that job displacements stand as a significant worry as automation and AI technologies potentially replace certain roles traditionally performed by humans. Focusing on reskilling and upskilling the workforce is crucial to adapt to the changing employment landscape.

Another major concern is the breach of personal data. As AI systems rely on vast amounts of data for training and operation, the privacy and security of this information become crucial.

For example, it isn’t common knowledge that ChatGPT knowingly records everything typed into it, and there is no clear warning that it is doing so.

This caused OpenAI to introduce in early April this year a “privacy feature”. This shift allows users to disable sharing their chat history in their user settings, but there isn’t a clear banner or other warning to point out this option (https://openai. com/blog/new-ways-to-manage-your-data-in-chatgpt). Safeguarding personal data from unauthorized access and misuse should be a top priority, ensuring that stringent measures and regulations are in place to protect individuals’ privacy. The history of AI is a testament to human ingenuity and our relentless pursuit of creating machines that can emulate intelligent behaviour. AI has the potential to revolutionise numerous industries, drive innovation, and improve our lives in countless ways.

However, it is essential to approach AI with caution, addressing the challenges it presents, such as job displacement, ethical concerns, privacy, and the potential risks of autonomous weapons. By navigating these challenges thoughtfully, we can harness the immense power of AI while ensuring its responsible and beneficial integration into society.

Tom is the owner of Govern Cybersecurity. He has over 18 years in the cybersecurity and IT industry at management level, and for the past 6 years has been a lecturer in cybersecurity at the Eastern Institute of Technology. He has earned certifications in ISO 27001 Lead Auditing, Lead Implementation, SOC2, and Ethical Hacking. These certifications are considered the international gold standard for business security.