Spurred by the splashy emergence of generative artificial intelligence and an array of other AI applications, experts participating in a new Pew Research Center canvassing have great expectations for digital advances across many aspects of life by 2035.
They anticipate striking improvements in health care and education. They foresee a world in which wonder drugs are conceived and enabled in digital spaces; where personalized medical care gives patients precisely what they need when they need it; where people wear smart eyewear and earbuds that keep them connected to the people, things and information around them; where AI systems can nudge discourse into productive and fact-based conversations; and where progress will be made in environmental sustainability, climate action and pollution prevention.
At the same time, the experts in the new canvassing worry about the darker sides of many of the developments they celebrate. Key examples:
- Some expressed fears that align with the statement recently released by technology leaders and AI specialists arguing that AI poses the “risk of extinction” for humans that should be treated with the same urgency as pandemics and nuclear war.
- Some point to clear problems that have been identified with generative AI systems, which produce erroneous and unexplainable things and are already being used to foment misinformation and trick people.
- Some are anxious about the seemingly unstoppable speed and scope of digital tech that they fear could enable blanket surveillance of vast populations and could destroy the information environment, undermining democratic systems with deepfakes, misinformation and harassment.
- They fear massive unemployment, the spread of global crime, and further concentration of global wealth and power in the hands of the founders and leaders of a few large companies.
- They also speak about how the weaponization of social media platforms might create population-level stress, anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation.
To continue reading this Pew Research Center article, go to: pewresearch.org/internet/2023/06/21/as-ai-spreads-experts-predict-the-best-and-worst-changes-in-digital-life-by-2035/