In 2016, Microsoft launched a chatbot called Tay. Within 24 hours, Tay became a Nazi and was shut down by Microsoft…
Unless you live in a bubble, and especially if your job is in the IT or marketing industry, you must’ve heard and seen ChatGPT these days – an AI-based chatbot that writes songs with incredible precision, answers your questions, can even code for you or write marketing slogans.
Of course, the question immediately arose – how dangerous such a chatbot can be? Can we expect a Terminator scenario anytime soon? Will one of our Skynets, becoming self-aware, destroy the human race?
Depending on what their interest is, various experts in AI and IT in general will give you different answers, but it’s not out of place to look for the answer where we can most often find it – in human behavior.
THE PROMETHEAN GAP
There’s a concept called the Promethean gap showing that the human species is changing the world around itself faster than it can adapt to that change.
We are amassing the power of gods, while we remain apes.*
Famous comedian Ronny Chieng in his Netflix special describes the Promethean gap in an extremely humorous way: “Who would have thought that all human knowledge in one place could make people dumber?” Of course, Ronny is talking about the Internet.
THE STORY ABOUT HITCHBOT
But let’s go back to AI, more specifically to a very unusual robot…
In 2013, two Canadian professors created a robot and named it hitchBOT. The goal of this project was to find out if humans can interact with this kind of technology and if a robot can trust humans.
The robot couldn’t walk, which means that it “hitchhiked” and people had to take it with them to reach another destination. The robot was completely dependent on humans and their goodwill to take it on a journey.
hitchBOT had the complete Wikipedia in his memory, meaning he could talk to his companions about every topic.
hitchBOT was also very kind and amiable. If you asked him to be quiet during the trip, he would do so.
Big media houses followed the journey of this cute robot – he traveled across Canada, he was in Germany and Netherlands, flew an airplane in the cockpit with pilots, was at a football match, at a wedding; he even met Santa Claus.
On his way back from Europe, hitchBOT embarked on a journey through the USA and that’s where his adventure ended tragically. A group of vandals smashed the helpless and harmless hitchBOT and left it in the trash.
Even after that, hitchBOT remained positive. His last message read:
“My journey has come to an end, but my love for people will never fade. Thanks to all my friends…”
SHOULD WE BE AFRAID OF THE AI?
There’s a bigger threat than AI…
Chatbot Tay wasn’t made to be a Nazi, even Skynet from Terminator probably wasn’t made with bad intent.
Artificial intelligence was created by man. AI, as shown by the example of Tay, can only be corrupted by humans because they “feed” it with data.
The greatest threat to humanity’s survival is not AI; the biggest threat to humanity is ourselves…
Behavioral marketing specialist, Google Growth Engine Ambassador (Adriatics) and founder of Promosapiens. Dalibor is a regular speaker at the international conferences: Shopper Brain (Netherlands), Dubai Lynx (UAE), Euroshop (Germany), Family Thinking Marketing Forum (Poland), Branding Conference (BiH), MEKST (Serbia), HOW Festival (Croatia), just to name a few… His lectures with the practical examples of behavioral marketing are regularly the highest rated among the audience.