Can AI Bring Us Together & Save The World?

Technology and media are forever intertwined.  Technology furthers media, and media loves to talk about technology.  Technology is also about people.  It can connect them, and it can increase the distance between them at the same time.   All the current narrative about AI  got me thinking about the ways technology can bring us together while also separating us even more.

My whole family is learning Spanish.  We have active streaks on Duolingo, and we give each other support on our respective journeys.  In this case, technology brings us together and allows us to share a common goal.  Each of us are progressing at our own pace, but the fact we’re all engaged in a learning activity is something that brings us together.

Last week I was calling an Uber at an airport to pick me up, and the driver was having trouble finding my location.  She began texting me in Spanish (pure coincidence), but I did not yet have the skills to respond to her in that language.  I felt a little stuck, but I noticed in the Uber app that there was a “translate” button to immediately translate her text into English for me, and translate my response into Spanish so she could understand.  In this case, technology decreased the friction in a service conversation, and things went smoother.



On the flip side, we are quickly seeing how AI can separate the gap between the haves and the have nots. If you have access to the tool, you can use it for your purposes. You could be an agency,  a publisher, an individual contributor or a contractor.   These tools give you a leg up or a head start, but if you don’t have the time to learn them or the access to use them in an ongoing basis, you become stuck in a distinct disadvantage.

Technology can close the generation and language gap.  It can do so much to level the playing field, but it also can increase the wealth gap and increase the divide between people who have access and those who don’t. 

Having access to technology is not necessarily a right, but it is a responsibility for everyone to ensure that the people around them have access.  The companies creating AI technology need to ensure that the technology is accessible to everyone so it can be used in new and innovative ways and help everyone to succeed.

I realize that this is an idealistic approach.  Still, I bring it up because we’re at a turning-point moment.   The recent advancements in AI are possibly the single greatest advancement since the Internet went mainstream, and it can bring opportunity to more people than we think. 

The media is vacillating between praising AI and condemning it because of its impact on jobs, and I understand that too.  At first glance, AI is going to replace many of the roles that the job market currently fills, but these roles can be replaced with new opportunities and ideas if we do it well.  You can use it for more creative purposes than cheating or copyright infringement.  AI can democratize the access to development if we can trust people to use it properly.

That last sentence is important, because mankind is not always known for doing the right thing when it comes to technology.  Maybe this is an opportunity for us to finally get it right.

Next story loading loading..