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Are we prepared for a future with AI? Experts debate ethical issues at Dubai Future Forum

What does the future of humanity look like, coexisting with Artificial Intelligence (AI)? A panel discussion at the ongoing Dubai Future Forum led to intense debate on the ethics of AI and specifically intellectual property protection, as experts discussed the current state of AI development.

What they did seem to agree on is that we are at a turning point: the impact that AI will have on society could be compared to the first industrial revolution and the innovation of the steam engine, and how it reorganized social and economic structures. job profiles.

William Hurley, an American technology entrepreneur and investor, considered some people’s negative predictions to be a cynical approach to how technology would affect society.

“I think there is a lot of unnecessary fear when it comes to AI and it doesn’t take into account our ability to predict technological change. “Humans are, above all, adaptive,” he stated.

I think there is a lot of unnecessary fear when it comes to AI and it doesn’t take into account our ability to predict technological change. Humans are, above all, adaptive.

– William Hurley, an American technology entrepreneur and investor

However, the other two members of the discussion panel took a more cautious approach.

Make the right decisions

Professor Pascale Fung, who works closely with the development of AI and is director of the multidisciplinary Center for AI Research at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), considered that much currently depends on how those responsible for decisions, policies and developers shape the near future. of AI development.

“I will say that AI will have ramifications beyond those of the steam engine. If humans make the right decisions, then I am optimistic,” he stated.

He talked about how, while hundreds of guidelines have been developed on the topic of AI ethics, their implementation is not an easy process, since “the technology is not designed to include ethical challenges.”

He also talked about the speed at which algorithms are developed compared to how quickly or slowly the laws and regulations that govern them are implemented.

“When we develop algorithms, we have to implement them so that they are safe and ethical. But we have seen models that have been released without the necessary testing,” he said.

However, he was also optimistic, commenting that AI was fundamentally dependent on human testing to be successful.

“AI is human-centric, it is impossible to launch it completely without testing it as we are all testers of this AI,” he said.


– Professor Pascale Fung, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Professor Hoda Alkhzaimi, research assistant professor at New York University Abu Dhabi and founder and director of the Emerging Advanced Research Acceleration for Technologies, Security and Cryptology (EMARATSEC) laboratory and research center, also said that while the AI can have many positive effects in everyday life. In today’s life, it is also necessary to “push” it to develop ethical systems.

“We can gain a lot economically by employing it in different fields. But at the same time, it worries me a little when I tend to test different algorithms for different users’ use because we are not addressing the other gaps – not the functionality gaps, but the aspect of having algorithms that can be taken to a mass level when Confidence is not very high,” he said.

Intellectual property

A popular ethical debate in the world of AI is that of intellectual property (IP), and this year many artists have raised the alarm against the use of their artwork for the creation of AI art.

However, Fung, who said he teaches AI art, didn’t think it was a debate at the level of his artist community.

“Artists and designers are trained from previous work. I learned to draw when I was young thanks to the previous work of artists, copying the great masters. Generative AI (artificial intelligence capable of generating text, images or other media, using generative models) does exactly the same thing: it ingests previous work. However, there is a significant difference: AI will not generate it without a human being providing it with that job,” he said.

Alkhzaimi, however, did not see a parallel between artists learning from experts and AI being fed collections of artists’ works to produce art.

“It is worrying that the original work is being used, we have to worry about intellectual property rights. Do we recognize all the inputs that large language models (LLMs) use to produce the final result? If we do it, then it makes sense, but we cannot use the artist’s work without giving it real recognition,” he said.

It is worrying that the original work is being used, we have to worry about intellectual property rights. Do we recognize all the inputs that large language models (LLMs) use to produce the final result? If we do, then it makes sense, but we cannot use the artist’s work without giving it real recognition.

– Professor Hoda Alkhzaimi, Emaratsec

Hurley, for his part, spoke about the practical application of intellectual property rights from a legal perspective.

“Let’s look at what Japan did: From a regulatory point of view, they said that LLMs that draw from artists’ work are not a violation of copyright. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed and there are different stages that an intellectual property lawsuit must go through in order to help. Many of these cases were lost because they were ruled not to be a copyright violation,” he said.

However, one AI artist in the audience spoke up to share his perspective on how he considered generative AI to be limited or biased.

“If I type ‘beautiful woman’ on a model, I get the face of a blonde, Caucasian woman,” he said.

However, experts considered that over the years this bias has changed and that more and more people are getting involved in the AI ​​development stage.

Everyone agreed that while AI models needed to be more “human-friendly,” involving people from different walks of life (not just developers) would make the key difference in how they were implemented. configure the technology.

“The default settings are supposed to be diverse, not biased,” Alkhzaimi said.

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