As a productivity geek, I am very excited about the recent advancements in AI as a content-generating tool.
In fact, I have already started using ChatGPT as a writing assistant for my blog.
However, I am very careful with the content produced by it, as the currently available AI models are not trustworthy enough to produce 100% accurate content. As an expert in my field, it’s easy for me to curate and validate the content generated for me by AI, because I have the knowledge and expertise to do so. So, you can rest easy knowing that I’ll continue producing high-quality content 😉.
But what about people who don’t have a high level of expertise in the field in which they’re using AI for content generation? Even worse, what if they don’t care? What would happen when every shmoe gets access to AI and uses it to try and earn an easy buck by content generation? What happens when there’s an oversaturation of content generated by AI?
It’s difficult to think about. I didn’t feel like I could really imagine a world like that and how it would affect the digital goods markets, social networks, and humanity as a whole.
On this page:
- So, I figured… Hey, why not try and ask ChatGPT?
- How would society address the ethical, legal, and regulatory implications that arise in such a landscape?
- What’s the worst possible scenario that could happen in such a world?
- Spoiler alert: It’s already happening
So, I figured… Hey, why not try and ask ChatGPT?
I actually got an interesting response:
In a world where virtually everyone has access to AI tools like ChatGPT and similar technologies for content generation and work, there would indeed be significant implications for humanity, markets, and consumers of digital goods. Let’s explore some of the possible outcomes:
- Oversaturation of Content: With the widespread use of AI tools, the internet would be flooded with an overwhelming amount of content. Blogs, articles, social media posts, videos, and other digital media would be generated at an unprecedented scale. As a result, it would become increasingly difficult for consumers to discern the quality and authenticity of content. It may lead to a decline in trustworthiness and accuracy, as AI-generated content may lack the human touch and context that is vital for certain types of information.
- Increased Accessibility and Democratization: The use of AI tools for programming and development would lower the barrier to entry in these fields. People without formal programming education could create apps, games, and other digital products with the assistance of AI. This democratization of software development could lead to a surge in innovation and creativity, as individuals with unique perspectives and ideas gain the ability to contribute to the digital landscape.
- Market Adaptation: The oversaturation of content and digital goods would necessitate adaptation in market dynamics. Platforms, search engines, and recommendation systems would need to employ advanced algorithms and filters to curate and present the most relevant and high-quality content to consumers. The demand for human-generated or curated content may also rise as consumers seek authenticity, expertise, and a more personal touch in their digital experiences.
- Consumer Behavior and Expectations: Consumers would face a vast array of choices in terms of digital goods and services. They would likely become more discerning, relying on reputation systems, ratings, and curated recommendations to navigate the sea of AI-generated content. The expectations of consumers might also shift, as they become accustomed to the convenience and speed of AI-generated products and services.
- Ethical and Legal Considerations: The prevalence of AI-generated content would raise ethical and legal concerns. Issues like copyright infringement, plagiarism, and intellectual property disputes could become more complex. There would be a need for updated regulations and frameworks to address the unique challenges posed by AI-generated content and its potential implications.
The above output was AI-generated but human-curated. There were a few additional points generated but I removed them as they seemed less relevant. I then asked a follow-up question:
How would society address the ethical, legal, and regulatory implications that arise in such a landscape?
Addressing the ethical, legal, and regulatory implications arising from a landscape where AI tools like ChatGPT are widely used for content generation and work would require a multifaceted approach. Here are some ways in which society might tackle these challenges:
- Ethical Guidelines and Standards: Establishing clear ethical guidelines and standards for the use of AI tools would be essential. Organizations, industry bodies, and governments could collaborate to develop guidelines that outline responsible AI practices, emphasizing transparency, fairness, accountability, and the avoidance of harm. These guidelines could address issues such as disclosure of AI-generated content, ensuring diversity and representation, and guarding against malicious uses of AI.
- Regulatory Frameworks: Governments would need to update existing laws or create new ones to address the unique challenges posed by AI-generated content. This might include regulations around intellectual property rights, plagiarism, data protection, and privacy. Regulatory frameworks could also address issues related to misinformation, ensuring that AI-generated content is labeled or identified appropriately to differentiate it from human-created content.
- User Education and Awareness: Educating users about AI-generated content and its implications would be essential. Promoting digital literacy and critical thinking skills can help individuals better navigate the digital landscape and make informed decisions about the content they consume. By providing resources and information about AI-generated content, users can develop a better understanding of its strengths, limitations, and potential biases.
- Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation: As the technology landscape evolves, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of AI tools and their impact on society would be necessary. Regular assessments can help identify emerging ethical and legal challenges and inform necessary updates to guidelines and regulations. Collaboration between academia, industry experts, and policymakers would be instrumental in conducting research and analysis to guide policy decisions.
The above output was AI-generated but human-curated. There were a few additional points generated but I removed them because I considered them less practical. I then asked it another follow-up question:
What’s the worst possible scenario that could happen in such a world?
In the worst-case scenario, a world where AI tools like ChatGPT are universally used for content generation and work could give rise to several concerning outcomes:
- Manipulation and Disinformation: AI-generated content could be weaponized for malicious purposes, leading to an increase in misinformation, propaganda, and manipulation. Bad actors could use AI tools to create realistic but fabricated news articles, social media posts, and videos, causing widespread confusion and eroding trust in information sources.
- Deepfakes and Identity Theft: AI-generated deepfake technology could advance to a point where it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between real and fake content. This could be exploited for identity theft, defamation, or spreading false narratives, leading to significant harm to individuals and reputational damage to organizations, celebrities, and politicians.
- Social and Economic Inequality: Despite the democratization of AI tools, there could still be disparities in access and skills among different groups of people. Certain demographics or regions lacking access or training could exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities. This could result in a further concentration of power and opportunities in the hands of those who have the resources and knowledge to leverage AI tools effectively.
There were a few other items generated, but the 3 above are the main ones that caught my attention. The rest were of much smaller significance.
It’s Already Happening
ChatGPT gave me a relatively optimistic response overall, implying that humanity will take steps to prevent these problems before they become too dramatic.
Unfortunately, if you watch the video below published on YouTube by Kyle Hill, you’ll easily notice that, technically… It’s already too late:
The video above describes what is already happening right now – multiple channels on YouTube appear to be purely AI-generated content, full of disinformation and misinformation, relying on click-bait titles, click-bait thumbnails, and a “shotgun” approach to content creation for the purpose of gathering traffic. But these channels don’t care about you as a viewer. They don’t care about your education, nor about the accuracy of the data you receive, or any value that you get from their content. All they care about is clicks and views.
These problems are only going to get worse. The political landscape is going to become increasingly volatile due to deepfakes and AI-generated media. It’ll become increasingly difficult to discern what is true and what is false, what source is reliable and what is not.
And it’s going to happen much sooner than you think.
Sure, it’s good to report these channels and videos as much as you can, as Kyle suggested at the end of the video. But it’s not going to resolve anything on its own. Regulatory action must be taken both by the media platforms and social network platforms themselves, as well as by national and international law enforcement organizations.
Voting and lawmaking must be done toward this end. The people must rise up and make themselves heard by the people in power.
The end-users and consumers may be the first victims of this zeitgeist, but the people in power and those working in politics will be next in line.
And yes, it will become much much worse much much sooner than you ever thought.
For a deeper insight into the dangers of AI, check out the following lecture:
“The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance”– Thomas Jefferson