Broniatowski Explains the Concerns Surrounding AI

March 7, 2023

Dr. David Broniatwoski

Artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT, is becoming a concern for policymakers such as Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who “introduced a resolution asking Congress to ensure that artificial intelligence be developed and deployed in a way that is “safe, ethical” and respectful of American rights and privacy.”

Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Associate Professor and Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics (IDDP) Associate Director, David Broniatowski, was quoted in an article by Spectrum News that reviewed the resolution, written by ChatGPT itself, and the concerns surrounding AI.

Artificial intelligence can help make our lives easier, but Broniatowski, who has been studying artificial intelligence for over a decade, also warns that what we don’t know about AI can be dangerous.

“Treat it like a very, very sophisticated knife. You can use a knife to help cook your dinner, you can use a knife to hurt someone,” he said. “There are people out there who will use [AI] to cause harm. We’ve seen that in terms of things like the employment of armies of bots, to engage in online harassment or to engage in attempts to manipulate political outcomes,” Broniatwoski said.

Another danger he highlighted was that ChatGPT uses the entirety of the internet to try and predict what it should produce next in response to a prompt, which can produce falsehoods and biases the technology cannot understand. Additionally, “the model can only repeat what’s been fed into it – and, in the worst of hands, that might include conspiracy theories and debunked misinformation.”

“It’s not like somebody’s gone into the training data and checked each one of those billions of documents, and said, ‘Well, this one’s okay, this one is not okay,” Broniatowski said. “The fact of the matter is that the people who are designing these are making value judgements, and they may not even know it.”

“Broniatowski is encouraged by Congress’ attention to the issue, saying that while legislation like Lieu’s may open AI to politicization, new policy is necessary.” He also recommends a concerted research effort to really understand artificial intelligence models.

Read the full article on Spectrum News.