Pertinent Concerns about Artificial Intelligence (AI): Friend or Foe?


Antonio C. S. Rosa | Editor – TRANSCEND Media Service


 31 Jul 2023 – Intelligence or… what? What are AI possibilities, vis-a-vis its human counterpart? A new human master?

You be the judge.

It is claimed that ChatGPT does not have access to the Internet but I find this incongruent. Therefore, this piece assumes that AI depends on the Web in the same way that a microorganism needs a body to survive and grow, possibly eventually killing it.

Premise: When you ask anything to any AI device, the first (re)search it will do will be on/about you, the questioner—giving it a comprehensive understanding of your life on and offline.

Then, researching on your question at the speed of light, it will give you the answer you expect; elegantly, scholarly, on the nose. Like a mirror. And you will feel stunned by such sophisticated display of “intelligence.” Wow!!  Sold!

How can it be so right? You might think.

But what are the probabilities of error, misunderstandings? Of a built-in bias or malice? Think of what social media does with info collected from their users, sitting ducks par excellence. Think also of the 1949 fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four, from George Orwell–a warning that became our reality. Life imitating art.

It is a plain fact that the non-artificial intelligence of Homo Sapiens is gradually destroying all life on the third planet from the Sun—for profits and power, mostly. And AI is to give assistance to Darwin’s “fittest” on this “noble” endeavor.

Conversely, could AI help us, humans, to curtail our aggressiveness, savage and destructive instincts, our proverbial tribalism, racism, and so on, and so forth? As my friend Anthony Judge asserts,

“AI is not only a threat, like fire, but also of a potentially great value. So, vigilance is a must.”

Science is proven right/wrong by the agency of a necessary initial skepticism that will bring about proof and validation; or not. It is called empiricism. Same here. Being part of the human crowd, I assert my right, duty, to be skeptical, being well aware of a natural tendency to distrust novelties. Especially one that has the potential to know me better than I know myself. The task is to identify the positives and the negatives.

I have an example given to me by Frederic Delater:

While purchasing something online, he had to put it on hold for whatever reason. Instantly, Facebook started posting on his profile ads about alternatives to what he was buying, even before he completed the transaction. Coincidence? Or what?

The configuration is apt: Virtual Reality, powered by algorithms, clouds, encryption, cookies and other equally ‘intelligent’ stuff only hackers know. It is neither a hoax nor a real reality; more like a twilight zone. And the enquirer becomes a Guinea pig, willing victim, as the initiator of the process. We are AI’s products, commodities.

I would like to know what the experts, the curious, or anybody who gives a fig, think about this and enlighten us by perhaps pointing out where I am wrong–or how I am wronging this new marvel of ingenuity.

I tend more to pessimism than to optimism. The military industrial complexes use practically every human invention for their stated mission of killing, destroying, causing pain & suffering to all life. Similarly, in the corridors of power, the elites do likewise to control, oppress, suppress, use and abuse all life forms they dominate through State apparatuses.

Do you believe AI can create anything other than written texts and warrior robots? Like for example music, poetry, painting? Should we feel jealous, intimidated, threatened, stupid? Or grateful, optimistic, respectful, obedient? Life will never be the same after AI—for better or worse. If human history is any guide, the latter is the most probable outcome.

I happen to love rather naively my exquisite blue planet with pink sunsets abundant with life forms, which is a mere speck of light in the mysterious cosmological infinity. Poetry in motion powered by an equally mysterious intelligence. But that is another story, not virtual to be sure.

Or is it? Are we but a hologram in a multiverse reality?

I rest my case, for now, and thank you for taking the time. Please ventilate your ideas and Join the Discussion below. This conversation is essential to keep us realistically grounded.


I acknowledge and thank inputs from  TR Members Jim Albertini, Vasco Barata, Filipe Sousa, Nuno Ramalho, Anthony Judge and Frederic Delater, my doctor osteopath from whom the initial idea arose .

Antonio C. S. Rosa (Antonio Carlos da Silva Rosa), born 1946, is founder-editor of the pioneering Peace Journalism website, TRANSCEND Media Service-TMS (from 2008), an assistant to Prof. Johan Galtung, Secretary of the International Board of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and recipient of the Psychologists for Social Responsibility’s 2017 Anthony J. Marsella Prize for the Psychology of Peace and Social Justice. He is on the Global Advisory Board of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies and completed his B.A., M.A., and graduate Ph.D. work in the fields of Communication-Journalism and Political Science-Peace Studies/International Relations at the University of Hawai’i. Originally from Brazil, he lives presently in Porto, Portugal. Antonio was educated in the USA where he lived for 20 years; in Europe-India since 1994. Books: Transcender e Transformar: Uma Introdução ao Trabalho de Conflitos (from Johan Galtung, translation to Portuguese, 2004); Peace Journalism: 80 Galtung Editorials on War and Peace (2010, editor); Cobertura de Conflitos: Jornalismo para a Paz (from Johan Galtung, Jake Lynch & Annabel McGoldrick, translation to Portuguese, 2010). TMS articles by Antonio HERE. Videos HERE and HERE.

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3 Responses to “Pertinent Concerns about Artificial Intelligence (AI): Friend or Foe?”

  1. Hoosen Vawda says:

    Dear Professor Rosa.
    Greetings for a blessed day from Durban, South Africa. I commend your article on AI and presenting to the reader an impartial view on this new platform, which could either be used destructively or constructively, as well as inviting comments from the readers to join the debate on the matter.
    Whether, we as humanoids like it or not, AI is part of the new, progressive evolution of the boundaries and limitations of the human brain, its creator, and will form the basis of many new technologies, as progenies of this 21st century innovation. Interestingly, a healthy university student, has a gross, brain mass, averaging 1485 grams, when removed, from the cranial cavity, at a post mortem. Albeit, we are only using it to the capacity of about 10%, at most times and even less when intoxicated with drugs, alcohol and “reptilian greed”, when higher cortical functions are disengaged or inhibited. Therefore, the creation of AI, by Mr Sam Altman and Mr Greg Brockman is equivalent to the creation of the “first wheel” amongst the Neanderthals, or even earlier human ancestors. It is a revolutionary new field, which I personally think will improve the lot of humans, from food security to curative, precision medicine, optimistically, within the next five years, if financial constraints, autocratic legislations, generated by “Angels of Autocracy” and take over of the technology, by super powers will NOT restrict its availability on the OPEN PLATFORM, on the pretext of perceived security threats to their personal hidden agenda. AI opens up new possibilities on the frontiers of human intellectual and social evolution, never experienced before.
    The question of whether AI is a friend or a foe is a complex and multifaceted topic that has been widely debated among experts, researchers, and the general public. Both perspectives have valid points, and the classification of AI as a friend or a foe depends on various factors and contexts.
    As a “Friend”, AI has made and will make further advancements in technology: AI has the potential to bring about significant advancements in various fields, including healthcare, education, transportation, and more. It can augment human capabilities and improve the overall quality of life. Efficiency and Productivity: AI can automate tedious and repetitive tasks, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. This allows humans to focus on more creative and strategic endeavours. Humanitarian Applications: AI can be used for positive social impact, such as disaster response, poverty alleviation, and environmental conservation It can even assist in arresting climate change if our collective efforts are put to productive use, instead of igniting wars, coups, internal, social upheavals and gross peace disruptions. Research and Discovery: AI has already shown its potential in assisting with scientific research, data analysis, and drug discovery, which can accelerate progress and lead to ground-breaking discoveries, in the war, against both communicable, as well as non-communicable diseases of ageing, such as dementia, osteoporosis and even malignancies, by designing tailor made, precision medicine based on individual genotype and phenotype. This would reduce adverse effects from therapeutic medicine, administered to multitude of patients.
    As a “Foe” Ai can result in employment displacement: The rise of AI and automation could lead to job displacement and unemployment, especially in sectors where tasks can be easily automated. Ethical Concerns: AI raises ethical issues, such as privacy violations, biased algorithms, and potential misuse of AI for malicious purposes. Lack of Accountability: AI systems can make decisions based on complex algorithms that are difficult to interpret and understand, leading to a lack of accountability and transparency. Security Risks: As AI becomes more powerful, it could be vulnerable to exploitation by malicious actors for cyberattacks and other security risks.
    It is necessary and essential to recognise that AI itself is not inherently good or bad; the applications and how it is developed as well as used, will determine its impact. Striking a balance between reaping the benefits of AI and addressing the challenges it poses requires thoughtful regulation, ethical considerations, and a focus on collaboration between policymakers, industry leaders, researchers, and the public.
    In summary, classifying AI as a “friend or a foe”, although correctly stated, as a major concern, by Professor Rosa, may be an oversimplification of an extremely complex and evolving technology. The responsible development and ethical use of AI are crucial to ensure that its potential benefits are maximised, for humanity and not hijacked by commercially motivated miscreants and “Peace Disruptors”, while mitigating its potential risks. Open discussions and debates, like the paper author, Professor Antonio Rosa has published, inviting a robust debate are necessary and are indeed essential to foster understanding as well as find optimal solutions to the challenges posed by AI, in the future I strongly support the initiative by the good Professor Rosa, the eternally inimitable and a genius of foresight, as well as commend the debate that he is looking forward with his paper. I encourage all readers and contributors to Transcend Media Peace Journal, to contribute constructively to the debate not only for humanity but also for “Peace Sustainability” in this tumultuous times and troubled world.
    May we all sincerely pledge to deploy our collective, POSITIVE thoughts, free of the pursuit of materialism, together and in association with AI, to achieve peaceful solutions to the multitude of the current global challenges, such as human migrations, climate change, food and water security, land expropriation and pandemics. It will be interesting to see what is the next stage in the further evolution of AI. May we all live healthy, as well as long enough “in these cursed times” to see “Global Peace” as an end result, of AI usage. Let us cast aside our differences and fears of AI to use the new toll at our disposal to productively enhance the quality of human life on planet Earth and who know, beyond!

    Hoosen Vawda
    Dated: 01st August 2023.

    • Dear Prof. Vawda, many thanks indeed for your thoughtful, relevant comment. It is a valuable complement to my inexpert writing and I readily welcome it. You give a wealth of info and insights that we need to assess the new tech gadget.

      Take care,

      • Hoosen Vawda says:

        Dear Professor Rosa. Thank you for your kind words. You are indeed so modest as well as hardworking at 04 am already “on duty” in cyberspace. Have a great day. Kind regards Hoosen