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Creeping Toward Dystopia

Amid the growing excitement about generative AI, there are also mounting concerns about its potential contribution to the erosion of civil liberties. The convergence of state intelligence agencies and surveillance capitalism underscores the threat that artificial intelligence poses to the future of democracy.

LONDON – With investors pouring billions of dollars into artificial intelligence-related startups, the generative AI frenzy is beginning to look like a speculative bubble akin to the Dutch tulip mania of the 1630s and the South Sea Bubble of the early eighteenth century. And, much like those episodes, the AI boom appears headed for an inevitable bust. Instead of creating new assets, it threatens to leave behind only mountains of debt.

Today’s AI hype is fueled by the belief that large language models like OpenAI’s newly released GPT-4 will be able to produce content that is virtually indistinguishable from output produced by humans. Investors are betting that advanced generative AI systems will effortlessly create text, music, images, and videos in any conceivable style in response to simple user prompts.

Amid the growing enthusiasm for generative AI, however, there are mounting concerns about its potential impact on the labor market. A recent report by Goldman Sachs on the “potentially large” economic effects of AI estimates that as many as 300 million jobs are at risk of being automated, including many skilled and white-collar jobs.

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