Banning AI
When a society does not like something, we take steps to remove or curtail it. This effort might include a public information campaign, laws, and open discussions. This backlash is now occurring with Artificial Intelligence, and people want it regulated, banned, or limited to specific applications. I think this will be a hot topic in the coming elections, and lawmakers are working into the late hours to develop new laws.
What is the core problem? There are three main issues. The first is the fear that AI will replace learning. This issue is nothing new. I remember teachers being upset that I used a computer to write reports when they wanted a hand-written document. Before this, they were upset that I used a calculator for arithmetic. My father probably got scolded when he used a slide rule, and my grandfather for getting facts from books. Teachers would say, “You are not learning the hard way.”
The second problem is that computers and robots have replaced many jobs, such as auto assemblers and cashiers. Thus, it is natural to fear AI replacing jobs such as editors, writers, or teachers.
I certainly do not want to compete with AI, but that argument has flaws. People built (as part of their job) robots and computers. Once installed, technicians had to service them. Later, technicians had to upgrade or replace them with newer models. So, computers moved jobs from one group to another, but there is no denying that jobs got replaced.
The third reason is that AI will replace our souls. Chat GPT (an AI language program) can write just like a human, but there is a long way to go because AI can only do what we ask. “Write a story about a race car.” Only a human to ask the AI program to write about that topic. What about a random topic generator? Well, what use it that to you? Are you interested in the topic of industrial carrot processing?
We must also consider the output quality of a program like Chat GPT. Let’s ask a seasoned race car driver like Jackie Stewart a racing question. His answer would be based on learning how to dive, winning races, and making mistakes.
“Hey, Chat GPT. How do I drive my race car faster in corners?” AI can process every racing book, graph, chart, and race data. But an expert driver has raced, can see the entire picture, and look at the person as they answer. This thought process includes seeing the car, the track, the conditions, the driver’s body language, and the other drivers.
The answer might be a simple “use less brake before entering the turn” or a complex aerodynamics discussion. The human answer will be much more effective, appropriate, and valuable. However, the Chat GPT answer might have a better writing technique.
AI has upped the game, but we must remember what it was like when computers like the Macintosh introduced the graphical work environment. This invention was more intuitive, easier to use, and more powerful. “Soon, the Macintosh will take over our minds.”
People mostly understand my three talking points but still wish to turn back the clock with legislation. I would argue that the bomb had already exploded, and we must deal with the aftermath. Trying to apply laws to AI is like trying to un-explode a bomb.
The real problem is how best to use AI in our everyday life. This situation is like when my father purchased a personal computer for the family. My father and I used it, while my sister and mother did not.
Teachers, bosses, and workers have realized the dangers and advantages of this new technology. Some embrace it because it makes life easy, and others dislike what it has done.
I would also like to remind you we have tried to legislate away computers in the past and failed spectacularly. Look no further than 1990 Operation Sundevil:
I would also like to remind you we have tried to legislate away computers in the past and failed spectacularly. Look no further than 1990 Operation Sundevil:
I recall one legislator said (at the time) (I could not find a reference for the details), “A kid with a modem is more dangerous than a kid with a gun.” People were terrified of the coming computer revolution and what incredible damage was about to occur.
In conclusion, I think it is a better use of our time to embrace this new technology, find jobs for those laid off, and figure out how to use AI in our daily lives. But perhaps we could use AI to solve the very problem I have brought up. “Hey, Chat GPT. Please write a law banning the banning of AI.”

You’re the best -Bill
July 12, 2023
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