Med One to One Spring/Summer 2023 ISSUE 75

What's up with AI

Written By: Craig Burton

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a hot button topic in the past year. With ChatGPT—a natural language processing chatbot—starting the recent buzz around AI advancements, many have turned their attention to other new AI tools that have rolled out or are in development. Although AI has gained in popularity in more recent years, AI actually has its roots in the mid-twentieth century and the idea of intelligent machines dates back to ancient times. It has been around for quite a while and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Today, AI has numerous uses including, but certainly not limited to, chatbots, self-driving cars, and is even used for diagnosis systems in the medical field.

Generative AI

Chances are, you’ve used AI many times over the years. Most have probably at least heard of chatbots like ChatGPT. It is what’s called “Generative AI.” Generative AI is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on creating or generating new data, such as text, images, or music, that is similar to the input data it was trained on. Tools like these are changing the way that we work and produce content. Simply type in a prompt—the more specific the better—and get the content you request in return. Midjourney and Adobe Firefly are AI tools used for image generation and text effects. They will generate four images customizable with style, size, and even lighting.

These tools can be used in tandem to create products that can be used for financial gain. Users can even do things like producing children’s books. ChatGPT is used for the text content and Midjourney is asked to create illustrations. The book can then be self-published through digital storefronts such as Amazon Kindle with little time and effort.

Additional Uses

There are tools targeted for sales and marketing, customer service, answering open-ended questions, and you’ve probably encountered a chatbot on any number of websites or apps. If you’ve used Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc., you are familiar with virtual agents. These bots generally help by answering questions, conducting web searches, organizing appointments or meetings, and so much more. Those are just tiny fractions of the AI realm, and they already promise the convenience so many of us seek when using technology.

Concerns with AI

As much as AI has generated buzz and interest, it has generated just as much distrust and concern throughout the world. Many worry about the negative ramifications that could result from developing and using artificial intelligence. A common concern is the possibility of AI replacing people in jobs typically occupied by humans. It can be scary to see an application able to produce what a human can, and it does make one wonder whether their future employment status is safe or not. Will people be replaced by technology that can perform the same tasks?

Another major concern is privacy. While most of us love the convenience of facial recognition or data saving features on our various accounts, there is a higher risk of falling victim to hacking, security breaches, or of data becoming available to companies or governments without user permission.

There is also an issue with this in schooling. Students use artificial intelligence to generate papers and do their homework for them. Teachers now must worry about cheating students using AI.

As you can see, there is excitement and there are concerns with AI. Overall, ChatGPT sums it up best. When prompted to provide a paragraph about AI, the following paragraph is a portion of what it produced. Most would agree that while useful, AI has the potential to completely reshape the way we live. Its full impact is yet to be known, but it will most definitely result in both opportunities and challenges.

With its ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data quickly, AI has the potential to unlock new insights, improve efficiency, and enhance decision-making processes. From self-driving cars to virtual personal assistants, AI is reshaping the way we live and work, offering new possibilities and transforming industries across the globe. However, along with its immense potential, AI also raises ethical and societal concerns, prompting ongoing discussions about privacy, bias, and the future of work. As AI continues to evolve, its impact on society is expected to grow, leading to both exciting opportunities and challenges that require careful navigation and ethical considerations.