Uncommon Sense

May 20, 2023

Real and Imagined Fears of AI

There seems to be a small but growing cottage industry writing articles about the fears associated with artificial intelligence (AI). Along side of that is another, smaller, cottage industry pumping out works extolling the virtues of AI and how it will make us all better off.

I, myself, wonder what natural intelligence is, as do many others, and wonder how it is we could even recognize the existence of artificial intelligence if it came up and bit us on the ass.

Most of this seems to be fueled by “content creators” who desperately want to capture our attention, for “likes,” “hearts,” or cups of coffee.

Let us assume that such a beast as an AI actually exists (which I doubt, but I will play along). Are there things to fear?

Yes, capitalism.

Capitalism will use AIs to improve profits, whether they improve anyone’s life or not. I envision health insurance companies using AIS in the following manner:

Insurer: AI, write a letter denying the claim for insurance coverage of this claimant using the facts in their file (here).

AI: Done! (Dear sir: . . . )

Think of the money the insurer will save. They do not need doctors to evaluate the validity of such a claim, nor do they need their lawyers or bean counters to do the same. They just deny all claims and only actually look into those who persist by refiling repeatedly.

Now, you may think that this is a harsh practice to ascribe to insurance companies, do realize they have already done this! Back during the Obamacare hearings it was exposed that several health insurance executives had their pay based upon how many claims they could deny and that they had created structures like the above to deny claims based upon a desire to please the boss, rather than the facts of the case, etc.

Also, I had a dentist who submitted claims for me to my insurer who insisted that the insurer denied almost all claims to see how serious the situations were, so he submitted and then resubmitted and even submitted a third time to get approval for procedures which seemed obvious to me (he showed me the x-rays and explained what was needed).

I am not so afraid of AI, although I have seen the Terminator movies; I am more afraid of what rapacious, conscience-less capitalists will do with them.


1 Comment »

  1. It isn’t AI that I’m afraid of. What I’m afraid of is how it is going to be used. It’s already being used by health insurance companies to deny as many claims as they possibly can to increase their profit as you feared in your article. You can be sure that companies will use them wherever they can so they can fire human employees everywhere they can.

    And how can we even believe what we see any more with AIs being used to fake photographs and even videos?


    Comment by grouchyfarmer — May 20, 2023 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

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