How to democratise AI

Artificial intelligence could serve as a powerful equalizer or a source of division and social unrest, depending on how it is deployed and who controls it. To prevent a privileged minority from co-opting the technology’s transformative potential, we must ensure that its benefits are broadly shared.

PARIS – The rapid advance of artificial intelligence evokes both wonder and dread. Many regard AI as an object of marvel and awe (a Stupor Mundi, to borrow a Latin phrase), while others believe it can be a benevolent savior (a Salvator Mundi). Regardless of whether AI is seen as miraculous or merely helpful, the question remains: How can we ensure that its benefits are available to everyone?

To answer this question, we need a nuanced understanding of AI. That means rejecting several simplistic narratives: functionalism, which says humans should adapt and augment themselves to keep up with technological progress; sensationalism, which depicts AI as an existential threat; cynicism, which seeks to exploit AI for profit; and fatalism, which implies a resigned acceptance of AI’s inevitable rise.

What these scenarios overlook is that the future is still ours to shape. Adopting the verum-factum principle – knowing through making – is crucial to developing a more profound understanding of AI’s capabilities and implications.

Read the entire article on the website of Project Syndicate