Has everything become AI now?

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

A few months ago I was amazed at how social media brings in new things for all of us to consume. I did not know that my Facebook friends the same age as mine have become 20 years younger! Isn’t it amazing to see that somebody close to us has maintained his/her youthful looks, but take note and brace yourselves. This is not real but rather, the work of technology, courtesy of the much in-demand app nowadays, the Photolab app, an AI technology. I am now tempted to ask the question: Nakapag photolab na ba ang tanan, na-post ug na-share na? Some might have already jumped into the bandwagon, while others are still thinking twice on whether to join others fix their faces through the app and eventually look younger.

This is just one of the many things that we have to absorb today as we embrace technology, especially artificial intelligence. In the 21st century, we should always be cautious and discerning of our use of technological innovations.

Recently, the Department of National Defense (DND) reminded the military personnel (AFP & DND) to avoid using the Photolab app. In the news it says, “all defense and military personnel in the Philippines have been ordered to refrain from using all AI image generator apps, which a government memorandum reiterates, poses “significant privacy and security risks.”

Since we can no longer do away with it, we need to use this and other available apps responsibly to better our lives and our professional engagements. Pope Francis for his part calls for an open dialogue about the meaning of these new technologies, endowed with disruptive potential and ambivalent effects. “The remarkable progress made in the field of artificial intelligence is having an increasingly profound impact on human activity, personal and social life, politics, and the economy. The urgency of responsibly guiding the conception and use of artificial intelligence, so that they serve humanity and the protection of our common home, requires that ethical reflection extend to the realms of education and law,” said the Pope in one of his reflections to the faithful.

That is why for our daily conduct, we also focus on artificial intelligence. We may want to ask: Has everything become AI now or is there still an area of our lives which has not yet been touched by AI? Related to this, we can also ask how our professional engagements are affected by it. Other important questions are how do we understand the intricacies of AI in the daily online lives of people? How do different AI applications and functionalities and other forms of AI technology impact our daily lives?

One potentially positive and beneficial reaction to the prevalence of AI that we should keep an eye on is a pending bill in Congress that looks at artificial intelligence and its impact on us Filipinos titled “An Act Promoting the Development and Regulation of Artificial Intelligence in the Philippines” (House Bill No. 7396) filed last March 1, 2023. This, I hope, will protect us users of AI.

We are at the point where awareness plays a very significant role more than ever. We are constantly presented with technology that can better our lives. We always have to update ourselves with developments like AI which is apparently here to stay. AI is indeed promising despite its potential risks and detriments. May we find this new technological innovation truly beneficial and may we use it with enough care and caution.

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