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“We create the tool for the people, you are the one who has to indicate how to use it” – OpenAI MEETING at the University of Warsaw

On May 23, 2023, Fireside Chat with Sam Altman head of OpenAI took place at the University of Warsaw, in the Maximum Auditorium. Polish OpenAI employees Wojciech Zaremba and Szymon Sidor also took part in the debate. The event was organized by IDEAS NCBR, a Polish research and development center for artificial intelligence. 

The essence of artificial intelligence is not just coding and machine learning models; it is the spark of creativity that leads to transformative solutions. […] We believe in the power of artificial intelligence to change the world, and while we’re at it, we might as well change the world with a smile!

IDEAS NCBR.

The event perfectly reflected the mission of IDEAS NCBR, which aims to ensure Poland’s prominent position on the global AI map. By investing in the best specialists and enabling them to conduct world-class research, the center aims to develop Poland’s competence in artificial intelligence and create a strong national presence in international AI circles.

“All aspects of people’s lives will change in some way because of the development of artificial intelligence. The work of lawyers, doctors… Thanks to AI, they will be able to understand much better what is going on.”

– Altman
photo: Zuzanna Czernicka

In a dynamic world, the development of artificial intelligence raises mixed emotions. Increasingly, on online forums, one can read discussions related to concerns about the impact of AI on the labor market and the associated socioeconomic consequences. However, is the “boom” in artificial intelligence the first such fear?

Manual labor was the norm in the 16th century, until the Rev. William Lee came up with the idea of partially mechanizing the hosiery manufacturing process. Using modified looms used for making carpets, he created a long sheet of hosiery material that could be cut and turned into stockings. This innovation proved to be much faster and cheaper than the previous method of production. However, according to folklore, Queen Elizabeth I turned down Lee’s request to patent the machine, fearing the negative effects on hitherto working stocking knitters, who might lose their livelihood.As the Industrial Revolution unfolded, people moved from rural areas to fast-growing metropolises, where they found employment in mills and factories, where steam-powered machines made mass production possible. Mechanization also affected agricultural workers, as population growth required the use of machinery in processes from sowing seeds to harvesting crops. Workers’ reactions to these changes have varied. In Britain, a movement known as the Luddites protested the increasing use of automation. [1]

With each, emerging invention, there is also growing anxiety and uncertainty among the population about the labor market. Artificial intelligence should not necessarily be seen only as a potential threat to the labor market. According to OpenAI, there is a perspective in which artificial intelligence can be an auxiliary force that supports and complements human skills, opening up new opportunities for growth and job creation.

Our model handles tasks well, but does not replace people’s work. People will be more productive because of it.

Sam Altman.

AI as a threat to democracy 

With the advancement of artificial intelligence, there are also concerns about its potential threat to democracy. With the development of advanced algorithms, there is a risk that these technologies could be misused to manipulate information and influence public opinion and violate basic democratic principles.

One of the main concerns is so-called “fake news. AI can be used to generate credible-looking content that is designed to mislead. And as a consequence, it can lead to the manipulation of audiences. This concern is also directed toward personalizing the message, creating information bubbles in which people are exposed to one-sided views and do not have access to diverse perspectives.

With every technology comes a darker, other side. Nuclear power has given us clean energy, but bombs have been created on the other side. It is possible that AI is the most powerful technology in human history. We need to understand its characteristics and create a global surveillance system – Sam Altman.

In the face of these threats, it is important to establish appropriate regulations and ethical standards for the development and use of AI. This requires dialogue between scientists, politicians, lawyers and the public to establish rules that protect human rights, privacy and democratic principles. 

Poland and new technologies

The debate highlighted the role of Poles in the development of AI. Sam Altman, Wojciech Zaremba and Szymon Sidor highlighted the key role played by Polish employees in the development of OpenAI. It was emphasized that in the early stages of the company’s existence, when the team numbered 50 people, as many as ten of them came from Poland. Altman himself did not hide his amazement and appreciation of the contribution of Polish employees, stating: “I don’t know how Poland reached such a level, but their impact is truly amazing.”

Poland is one of the largest exporters of IT services in Europe, with a strongly developed software and IT solutions sector. Polish companies specialize in software development, mobile application development, web design, as well as in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. Polish universities and research institutes are engaged in projects in artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other fields. Polish scientists and researchers are successful in publishing scientific articles, participating in international conferences and collaborating with other research institutions around the world.

It testifies to the growing reputation of the Polish technology sector and the high level of education and skills of Polish specialists. Poles are gaining recognition on the global technology scene, which attracts the attention of companies from all over the world.

Bibliography:

[1] How Artificial Intelligence Impacts the Future of Work

https://www.ai-bees.io/post/how-artificial-intelligence-impacts-the-future-of-work

All of the pictures displayed in the article were taken by its author.

Zuzanna Czernicka
Bio:
I am deeply immersed in the dynamic world of banking and FinTech. My focus encompasses critical areas such as foreign exchange, payments, and the cutting-edge landscape of FinTech regulation. My academic interests span a broad range of topics including electronic payments, Open Banking, blockchain impacts, the DeFi ecosystem, NFTs, ICOs, and tokenization. I am dedicated to understanding and analyzing the new regulatory frameworks shaping the FinTech world. Currently, I am writing my Bachelor\'s thesis on the robo-advisory services. This work reflects my commitment to understanding and contributing to the regulatory frameworks that are vital for the growth and governance of emerging financial technologies.
Written by:

Zuzanna Czernicka

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