Trending hashtag for May 18 – 60 percent of Americans believe artificial intelligence could threaten civilization. Big Tech seeks cheaper overseas replacements for laid-off workers; Newegg presents another business case for conversational AI in commerce

Six out of ten Americans believe that artificial intelligence could “threaten civilization”. Big tech companies are looking abroad for cheaper replacements for laid-off workers. And 60 percent of Twitter users say they’ve taken a break from the platform in the past year.

This top tech news and more on Thursday, May 18, 2023, I’m your host, Jim Love, Director of Global IT Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the negative impact of the rapid growth of artificial intelligence. Six out of 10-60 percent believe it could even threaten civilization.

The survey found that the number of Americans who see unfavorable results is three times higher than those who do not.

Interestingly, people who voted for Donald Trump were 10 percent more fearful than those who voted for Biden, and evangelical Christians were 8 percent more concerned than others.

But even with group differences, it’s clear that a broad segment of US citizens fear the development of artificial intelligence.

This study comes after ChatGPT became the fastest-growing app of all time and the resulting AI “arms race” as Google and Microsoft and others battle for dominance or the AI ​​market. at least for the share.

Landon Klein, director of US policy at the Future of Life Institute, an organization behind the open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on AI research, said: “We’re at the beginning of the nuclear age right now, and we have the benefit of public perception that aligns with the need for action.”

As we heard from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, even software developers have their concerns. Lawmakers were clear they were struggling to figure out how to regulate AI software.

Where we still need to have consensus is not just what should be done, but what can be done. As US Senator Cory Booker explained. “There’s no way to put this genie in a bottle. Globally, this is exploding.”

Sources include: Reuters:

It turns out that many of the big tech companies that have laid off or laid off workers in the past few months are now trying to hire cheaper foreign workers to replace those workers.

Google, which has laid off about 12,000 workers but is now filing applications, is just one of many companies that have requested thousands of H1-B foreign worker visas, according to investigative reporter Li Fang. Other companies include Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft and others that have cut significant numbers of employees.

HI-B visas are controversial, with critics claiming they are used to take jobs away from US citizens and permanent residents.

Fang reported on a 2017 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that claimed that wages for US computer scientists would be 2.6 to 5.1 percent higher and employment would be 6.1 to 10.8 percent higher “without immigration.” in absence. “.

But the studies, and even Fang’s conclusions, are hard to reconcile with the fact that even with the layoffs, there are still a large number of unfilled tech jobs in the U.S., with some estimates as high as 100,000. And that same report cited by Fang also points out that there have been significant benefits to the US economy from H1-B visa workers in terms of innovation, productivity and lower inflation.

In addition, some of those laid off or displaced were foreign workers who found themselves in an uncertain situation when their jobs ended.

Are big tech companies trying to take advantage of the situation and reduce their labor costs? Probably. But like many debates about jobs and immigration, it’s important to consider all the data.

Sources include: Li Fang and Understanding The economic impact of the H1-B program on the US as well as New York Post

Newegg Commerce has presented another business case for using conversational AI in commerce, this one with an IT twist. Their new PC Builder shopping tool is integrated with ChatGPT to make custom PC building and shopping easier.

Not only can the new system provide ordering information, but it also allows the customer to search for compatible components that are eligible for discounts or special savings, ensuring customers get the best prices.

I did a quick review and it’s still a complicated task, but I could see how it presented the options for me with a simple prompt that described the type of PC I was trying to order. We’ll put the link in the text version and you can judge for yourself.

Sources: Newegg

Gartner Inc found that CEOs cited AI as a leading technology impacting the industry, which in itself is not surprising. But the report had some additional insights.

Growth is the top strategic priority for companies, with 49 percent of CEOs surveyed citing it as a top priority. Technology-related items were second at about 34 percent, but the focus on growth suggests that those representing digital or technology strategies; required link them to business growth if they want to win investment from executives.

But for the first time, environmental sustainability rose 25 percent from last year’s survey, and for the first time appeared in the CEO’s top 10 priorities. Gartner predicts that by 2026, environmental sustainability will be a CEO’s strategic business priority over technology investments.

Sources include:: Gartner

And fake news social media accounts are not just a Western phenomenon. China has announced that more than 100,000 online accounts it says spread “fake news” or represent state-controlled media have been shut down in an effort to clean up the internet. And as congressional committees debated what legislation was needed, the Chinese government was cracking down on the abuse of artificial intelligence. authorities arrested a man who used ChatGPT to create a fake story about a train crash.

Fake accounts and abuse AI to spread misleading news. Everyone is trying to copy western culture.

Sources include: Reuters:

And finally, 60 percent of US Twitter users have “taken a break” from Twitter for a few weeks or more in the past year.

Unsurprisingly, the groups most targeted for abuse on the platform are the most likely to take a break; women and black users tend to leave, but the effect is also on a wider range of users.

Now, before we gather the usual suspects, we should note that there is no data to determine if this was more or less of a problem before Elon Musk took over. He only ruins things, I mean things within 6 months.

What it really points to is that Twitter doesn’t have the same addictive quality as other social media platforms, and that’s a risk, especially as Musk’s new CEO tries to restore ad revenue that has plummeted for Musk. after taking over.

And Musk’s Twitter has been working for only about 6 months. Somehow it feels longer. But then – I took a break from Twitter too.

Sources include: TechCrunch

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