Metaphors of AI: “Gunpowder of the 21st Century”

With the high pace development of AI systems, more and more people are trying to grapple with the potential impact of these systems on our societies and daily lives. One often utilized way to make sense of AI is through metaphors, that either help to clarify or horribly muddy the waters.

In this article for Trouw, Nienke Schippers employs the metaphor of ‘buskruit’ (gunpowder) to explore how AI can have both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ applications, just like gunpowder did since its invention. Although the metaphor itself is not very helpful, the article does do a nice job of outlining some of the important points in the current debate on the potential impact of AI.

The article outlines the different possible positive and negavite impacts of AI. Several scholars are interviewed, amongst which Oumaima Hajri. Hajri previously initiated the Alliance Against Military AI, with the Racism and Technology Center as a proud member. The article also touches upon the new EU rules regulating AI, the so called AI Act. The law just got voted on this week by the European Parliament and includes a lot of the points civil society organisations such as EDRi have been campaigning on.

See: Is AI het buskruit van de 21ste eeuw? at Trouw.

Image by Yasmin Dwiputri & Data Hazards Project / Better Images of AI / Managing Data Hazards / Licenced by CC-BY 4.0.

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