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What AI brings to the table and its risks

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 13 June 2024

When thinking about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, I recall a quote from American business guru Mark Cuban, "It takes 20 years to become an overnight success."

In the case of AI he's off by a factor of 3.

It's been 74 years since Alan Turing wrote "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" and 68 years since the term was coined, but now everyone is talking about AI … including journalists.



Because of fear. In the abstract, scientific innovation has always worried man. Practically, who knows who is going to lose their job because of it?

Mary Shelley's tract "Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus" has seeped into popular culture as a cautionary tale against techno-optimism, and it gestures back to much more ancient roots.

Prometheus was punished by the Greek gods for giving man that earliest of advanced technologies – fire.

Mankind was punished by the same gods who sent Pandora to earth where she accidentally releases all the woes of the world from her box.

Pandora has echoes in HAL, the robot who takes murderous control in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or Skynet, the genocidal robotic network in the Terminator movies.


A significant human faction has been technophobic from the get-go, they worry that artificial intelligence might also gain artificial consciousness, or that some faction could subvert it to create a world-destroying threat.

Putting those fears to one side, why would AI threaten my job?

AI has worked to improve productivity by taking over jobs that humans currently do. Most technological improvements achieve that although one may not see it in advance.

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An edited version of this article was published by the Epoch Times.

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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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