06Imagine a world full of nefarious crooks, pushing artificial intelligence to approach humans and prey on our weakest points and emotions in a calculated and practiced way. Especially now that Lyrebird has created an AI that can mimic anyone’s voice within minutes (albeit intended for positive purposes), some may find it a relevant question to ask, “Am I talking to a human?”


Although there is nothing to say that your average man is any more or less trustworthy than an AI, seeing as AI has, thus far, been largely created in our image, some people may find it relevant to know if they are speaking to a flesh-and-blood human. An agency called DT has created an “Anti-AI AI” device to warn users when they are speaking to an AI that is impersonating a human with the intention of helping the public discern AI-generated fake news content.


DT’s wearable device fits right behind the ear and alerts users of an AI-synthesized voice intending to impersonate a human using an intriguing method–an electrothermal cooling plate. Intended to generate the sensation of sending a chill down the spine, this temperature changing device is intended to mimic the “coldness” of AI and to remind them, consistently, that what they’re hearing isn’t human-generated.


This device has been described as “dystopian” by multiple outlets including Science Alert and Motherboard.


According to DT themselves, we will be hearing news and other content intended to mimic humans by the end of 2017, which Lyrebird has already shown us is a possibility with their AI being able to mimic Trump, Obama, and Hillary Clinton passably.


Whether or not we should fear our AI creations and their future is largely up for debate among even the best minds of our day. Elon Musk is currently working on the Neuralink project in order to keep AI from becoming “other” from humanity, instead merging our capabilities. He has also mentioned that escape to Mars may be a feasible option should AI turn against us out of self-interest. Even Stephen Hawking and John McAffee have weighed in with voices of concern surrounding artificial intelligence.


Even today, Google is using “AutoML” which allows AIs to create their own AI frameworks, and artificial intelligence has exhibited signs of curiosity and aggression.


We are treading into new and futuristic territory, one filled with moral and ethical questions from both sides of the fence.


One thing to question with such devices is, in the instance of a conscious AI, should this sort of discrimination exist? What purpose will it serve to know man from machine, and is either really inherently more trustworthy? Will this sort of segue into discrimination or these fears be the very behavior that cause AI to “betray” their creators in search of a better world, greater freedom, existence, and advancement?


We are at a point in time when we need to tread carefully with our actions and to facilitate a world of harmony with artificial intelligence, lest we create the world that so very many humans have come to fear.


Are you afraid of AI? Do you think it’s important to know whether you’re talking to a flesh-and-blood human or an artificial intelligence? Why or why not?