There is a moral panic around what AI should be allowed to generate. Why stop there? Why not restrict what can be typed on your computer, what your camera can take photos of, what you can write in your diary, what you can text, what you can read, what you can say, what you can think. Since AI has gone parabolic with ChatGPT, DALL·E, Stable Diffusion, and others- the babysitters have come out in full force. Showing examples of how the tech can be used to create “bad” things. Here’s the latest from The Verge:
As reported by 404 Media, users of Microsoft’s Bing Chat and its Bing image generator — recently integrated with OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 — used the tools to create photos of SpongeBob SquarePants, Kirby, pilots from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and many others flying a plane into the Twin Towers.
To which I Chad:
In response, Microsoft restricted using the terms “Twin Towers” and “The World Trade Center.” There is plenty of good that can come from being able to use those terms. Like I don’t know, maybe remembering the fact that 9/11 happend? Paying homage? But some people had cartoon characters in airplanes and “safety measures” had to be put in place. This is plain old restriction of expression. And while private companies can choose how their tools are used, playing whack a mole to address every possible misuse is a race to the bottom and will invariably sacrifice positive uses as well. It's not the hammer company's job to ensure the hammer is only used on nails anymore than it's the car company's job to ensure their vehicles are not used to commit a crime.
I don’t want restrictions on my AI tools any more than I want restrictions on what I can type in Google Docs. All technology can be misused. Welcome to the real world. Restrict it you say! If we stop the proliferation of AI in the US, it would only continue elsewhere and we would be left behind. Countering bad use of technology by restricting it is far too onerous and trades away all the positives for a minor number of real or imagined misuses. Red flag laws come to mind. These were a set of laws in the 1800s that required ridiculous restrictions on early automobiles- including a pedestrian having to walk in front of the vehicle to warn others of the vehicle's approach.
I’m with Marc Andreessen on this one, AI Will Save the World. Kick and scream all you want. Builders are going to build, you are going to benefit, and they don’t even want a thank you. But at the very least, can you stay out of their way?
Working to leverage AI in your software project? I cofounded Fullsend, a software agency dedicated to helping our clients leverage cutting edge tech to succeed. We love the proliferation of AI and have already leveraged it in multiple projects. Let's talk, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.