Imagine asking a chatbot to write an 800-word essay about the history of Hong Kong and receiving it in less than a minute. In recent months, ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) model, has been destroying the internet as a result.
Headlines like “The College Essay is Dead” underscore the chatbot’s ability to pull information from the Internet to generate text that rivals the writing of most students. This has a major impact on society.
However, ChatGPT has also come under fire for potentially promoting discrimination. Although the company behind it added certain safeguards to prevent the chatbot from providing problematic answers, users were able to circumvent this by rephrasing their questions.
As the AI learns from what already exists in the world, it will perpetuate the same discrimination it “learns” from humans. This could pose a threat to many human rights.
Explainer: What is ChatGPT and Why Are Schools Blocking It?
In the 1980s, St George’s Hospital Medical School in London developed an algorithm to select students for admission based on their written applications. However, the data set used in the development of the AI contained prejudices against women and those with names that did not sound European. According to the editors of the British Medical Journal, “the program did not introduce new biases, but simply mirrored those already in the system”.
This incident is important as it shows how AI trained on flawed data can perpetuate a vicious circle and prolong the negative effects of discrimination. If companies’ use of AI exaggerates existing prejudices, the system has the potential to reproduce this discrimination. Excessive discrimination poses a threat to social stability because it harms the well-being of individuals and groups and affects their sense of self-determination.
The rise of AI also poses a threat to economic stability as it has the potential to destroy many jobs. This will lead to greater income inequality and widen the wealth gap.
According to the US National Bureau of Economic Research, automation has caused a decline in workers since 1980.
Artificial intelligence could replace millions of jobs around the world in the next few years. Photo: Shutterstock
Today, AI is able to enable advanced thinking through learning and interaction. Many jobs like driving and customer service are prone to automation. Website developers, lawyers and content creators are also at risk of losing their jobs to AI. Since we do not know if these workers will find other opportunities, it may well lead to mass unemployment.
When these job opportunities are replaced, income inequality is further increased. The result could be widespread social unrest, such as the boycott of large technology companies and attacks on their headquarters.
AI continues the trends of past technologies, impacting workers and perpetuating discrimination. If we are not careful, this could exacerbate income inequality and pose a direct threat to society.
Your Voice: ChatGPT can revolutionize anything, even schools
Video games can enhance our skills
Tiana Lam Cheuk Wing, St. Paul’s Secondary School
In this ever-changing era of technology, video games like Genshin Impact and Apex Legends are very popular. Many children cannot control how much they play video games. Game developers are constantly launching new products that steal our precious time.
Recently, I became aware of mainland China’s new policy on video game addiction. Children and young people are now only allowed to play video games for three hours a week. As a high school student in Hong Kong, I don’t think that policy should be implemented here.
Generation Z is the first generation of “digital natives”. They are known for their ability to adapt to new technologies. Their interest in gaming is one of the reasons they are so skilled in the digital world.
Some say that children’s addiction to video games is so serious that they can’t think straight. However, I see it the other way around.
Genshin Impact is a popular fantasy game with millions of users worldwide. Photo: Shutterstock
If you’ve ever looked at a player’s interface, you’ll understand how difficult it is to navigate a character in a game. It’s not as easy as it seems. Should we treat that as a talent too?
There are always updates to a game – new characters, new features, new settings – to complicate things further. However, children are not disturbed. Not only can they quickly adapt to change, but they can also apply their skills to different situations.
It is quite common for parents to ask their children to help them fix technical problems. Children may not be familiar with the problem, but given their general familiarity with technology and troubleshooting, they can solve it on the fly. Isn’t this the best proof of how video games develop children’s skills?
Children also relieve their stress by playing video games. I’m sure the intent of the rule in China is to strike a balance between playing and learning. But let’s look at the children’s point of view. After eight hours of school, they are allowed to play video games for an average of less than 30 minutes a day. Is that “balance”? This extreme rule deprives children of a chance to relieve stress. It keeps them from happiness and does not prevent addiction.
China will limit children to three hours of online gaming per week
When teens can’t manage their stress, they can suffer from mental illness. There is no reason to jeopardize children’s mental health. Additionally, applying such extreme rules can lead to more rebellious actions. Educators and parents should have the responsibility of teaching the youth and not restrict their interests. This rule might reduce the amount of time kids spend playing video games in the short term, but it will do more harm in the long run.
The practicability of the policy should also be taken into account. Nowadays kids don’t just play games on their phones. Devices like PlayStation and Nintendo Switch are popular. How can the time be regulated? This policy can be a waste of time and money.
In short, video game addiction is serious, but strict restrictions aren’t the best way to tackle the problem. When used correctly, games can have a positive impact on children’s mental health and their ability to use new technologies.