What is artificial intelligence?
The subject of AI can be a bit confusing because there isn’t a single accepted definition of what it is. The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national academy for AI and it says that the term is generally used to describe a machine performing tasks that would usually need human brainpower. It adds that most AI systems involve computers running algorithms (a program with a series of steps) to work their way through lots of data.
Will we still need journalists?
Some newspapers and websites have been using AI for years. AI can take things like basic financial data, earthquake reports or stats from a football match and spit out a basic story in seconds. So we asked Luckin if AI could put journalists out of work, and if AI could have interviewed her instead of a human. “I’m sure it could have, but it wouldn’t have done it as well,” she says, the charmer! “I don’t think it will put people out of work, but it might change the nature of the job. AI can do part of the job, but it can’t do it all.” Phew!
AI isn’t always right
“I do feel it’s an exciting opportunity for humankind,” says Luckin. “We have to grasp it and we have to make the AI help us to be ever more intelligent. If you look at the problems that exist in the world, such as climate change or antibiotic resistance, we need people to be as intelligent as they possibly can be and able to work in new ways and to use the power of AI.” Although Luckin is in favour of AI, she ends our chat with a note of caution: “We have to be careful we don’t assume that what the AI offers us is always right or the best thing to do, because it won’t necessarily be, and so you need to become even more critical and more questioning. And we also have to be careful that we don’t let it make us lazy, because it shouldn’t be replacing our own intelligence. The secret is to recognise what AI is good at and what humans are good at, then you get them to work together.”
Elon Musk has described ChatGPT as “scary good”. Do you think AI is more “scary”, or more “good”? Answer our poll, and tell us your thoughts in the comments below!