The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

OPINION: Discussing AI: a threat or a triumph

On+October+18th%2C+the+George+W.+Bush+Presidential+Center+set+the+stage+for+a+discussion+about+the+impact+of+artificial+intelligence.
Katie Bergelin
On October 18th, the George W. Bush Presidential Center set the stage for a discussion about the impact of artificial intelligence.

I’m a child of the Internet age. The first iPhone was released in January 2007, not so long after my fourth birthday. Screens have provided education and entertainment for myself and my peers as we got older. Still, I wouldn’t call myself a technology expert.

Of course, I know how to help my not-so-technologically savvy grandparents with navigating their iPad’s display, but when it comes to understanding AI, I am helpless.

I sat down for the Engage NexPoint Lecture at the George W. Bush Presidential Center with Google locked and loaded. I was already prepping my thumbs to speedily type unknown words into the search engine to define the unknown technological vocabulary. Instead, I was met with engaging metaphors that helped me understand AI’s impact on our nation.

The most striking question of the night revolved around artificial general intelligence and the possibility that the human aspects of AI can be circumvented.

Shane Tews, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, remarked that the Internet reflects our society, and “terrible people will find ways to be more terrible people.” Human evil is carried out with technology like AI, which prompts much of Tews’ work, where she finds the right guardrails and puts them in place.

Garry Kasparov, a Russian pro-democracy leader and former world chess champion, has faith that humans will remain an integral part of artificial intelligence. He notes the importance of an end goal that humans give machines. Kasparov recalls his face-off against the IBM supercomputer, Deep Blue, in 1996 and 1997. He remarks that humans can learn from past experiences while machines need to start from scratch.

While the discussion at the Presidential Center revolved around democracy, I couldn’t help but think of other instances where human intelligence faces off against artificial intelligence.

My mind immediately flashes to writers and actors on the picket lines who strike against AI’s threat to their careers. There are also students like me who are cautioned against using AI as it stifles individual interpretations of literature, history, and countless other subjects.

These displays of human thought and creativity cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence, Kasparov says. There’s no use in using A.I. to recreate Casablanca or any other cult classic films, so don’t even try. It also shouldn’t be a way to solve societal ills, Kasparov continues.

Yet, both Kasparov and Tews believe in AI and its importance in our world. Tews likens it to the invention of automobiles because, without it, we would be confined to small villages. Of course, there are malfunctions and accidents that are bound to happen, but consider the more positive perspective, and artificial intelligence broadens world views and promotes inventiveness.

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About the Contributor
Katie Bergelin, Podcast Producer
As podcast producer, Katie creates engaging podcasts for The DC’s Pony Pod, an award-winning series that can be heard on Spotify. You can catch episodes of “Ask the Expert,” a series that focuses on experts at SMU and in the DFW area. You can also listen to “Money Talks” and “The Reel Deal,” two other series on the Pony Pod that Katie hosts and produces. On “Money Talks,” listeners can expect conversations about unique perspectives in business, finance, and entrepreneurship including a fun but serious episode discussing the viral “girl math” phenomenon. Dive into “The Reel Deal” for a deep conversation with industry professionals about whether the entertainment industry portrays their careers accurately (Yes, Chef!). Katie also works with students interested in developing their own podcasts for production with The DC.You can email her at [email protected] with podcast pitches and other inquiries. You can email her at [email protected].