The Rise of AI and Ethical Concerns Posed by It

The story so far

With the official release of Open AI’s Chat GPT 4 on March 14 this year, artificial intelligence (AI) hit the headlines. A chatbot named Claude, made by San Francisco-based Anthropic, was released on the same day. Chinese firm Baidu released its Ernie Bot on March 16. Google came up with its free-to-try Bard on March 21. This was followed by Bing Chat from Microsoft, which was released on May 4, 2023.

Response from the world

Businessmen of tech firms have joined the race to build better chatbots. Some of them have voiced their opinion about these programs. Bill Gates, in his blog, describes his experience with Chat GPT-4 as stunning. He writes, “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other.” (Gates, 2023) In a podcast episode with researcher Lex Fridman, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that AI technology can help people “express themselves better to people in situations where they would otherwise have a hard time doing that.” (Xiang, 2023a)

There are other opinions as well. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in a tweet, said: “Even benign dependency on AI/Automation is dangerous to civilization if taken so far that we eventually forget how the machines work” (Musk, 2023). On the occasion of retirement from Google, British-Canadian cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Hinton warned, “Right now, they (generative AI bots) are not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.” 

A human stand on AI

It is difficult to bring all views on artificial intelligence to a synthesis. Great men from Alan Turing to Marvin Minsky contributed to the field of artificial intelligence to make it as it is today. Long back, E.M. Forster wrote in the short story The Machine Stops: “You talk as if a god had made the Machine. I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it. Do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but not everything.” Computer-user interfaces and machines are not human. 

It is worthwhile to consider what it means to be a human. 

British thinker John Stuart Mill writes on human nature: “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.” (Mill, 2002) 

Human life is an emotional experience. As humans, we are driven by our feelings, however abstract they may be. Sometimes, a human feels love toward another of his kind. At other times, he hates the other person. Their actions are motivated by feelings. The beauty of human life rests in the lack of fixities.

Moreover, human life is a struggle, with ups and downs. Every person is unique. He believes in something and has his ethics. Each one has a reason to exist, and no life is complete without pain, toil and suffering. As Nietzsche notes in Genealogy of Morals, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in suffering.” (Nietzsche, 2009)

On the other hand, large language models powered by AI lack feelings and subjective experience. They can help men a bit, but not explain real phenomena. They are neither conscious nor accurate in their answers. They analyze existing data to find out answers, and hence their answers lack novelty. They depend on human inputs to reply to prompts in a human-like way.

This property can be utilized by people to trick others into believing AI answers as human answers. In other words, this can lead to people taking answers from AI models as equivalent to human answers. And this provides a fertile ground for scams. As Daily Mail reports, a woman named Jennifer DeStefano received a call from an unidentified number wherein she heard the automated voice of her daughter which she took to be real. Then a faceless person demanded a sum of money and asked her not to call the police. In reality, her daughter had not been kidnapped. Later, this was identified to be an AI scam call (Smith, 2023).

In another intriguing incident which was brought to light by La Libre, a Belgian man committed suicide after a long chat with a chatbot Eliza. (Xiang, 2023b) These events prove that artificial intelligence, along with its benefits, can be harmful to human life.

Ethical concerns posed by AI

Humans have been depending on machines such as the computer and the mobile phone and the calculator to help them do things that they are intelligent enough to do. To save time and for the sake of convenience, they have been relying on machines to get things done. They should not add another sort of dependence to this by relying on artificial intelligence. 

If they do so, it can possibly turn them into artificial intelligence-addicts. This can have mental ramifications on individuals. In his article named The Psychological Impact of Using AI, Banafa (2023) notes that it has the potential to lead men to anxiety, social isolation, depression and paranoia. These can influence social relationships.

In his play R.U.R, Capek (1920) tells us of a revolution led by robots, the product of the human mind, after which they displace humans from power. Will such a revolution be initiated by the collective effort of intelligent tools, we do not know. As humans, we have to be on our guard. 

Therefore, misuse or overuse of AI tools should be avoided. With this end, proper regulations must be put in place. Recent developments indicate that efforts have been initiated in this direction. 

Towards responsible use

In March, an open letter published online, signed by thirty-three thousand people, asked all AI labs “to immediately pause for at least six months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT 4.” One of its signatories, Sam Altman, went on to discuss the issue of regulating artificial intelligence with American senators. He visited countries in the Middle East and South Asia for the same concern. 

Meanwhile, laws aimed at regulating Artificial Intelligence are taking shape. The draft AI act passed by the European Parliament, the law-making unit of the European Union, in 2021 is expected to become law this year. The White House published its ‘Blueprint to an AI Bill of Rights’ in 2022. The UK government has published a white paper titled “A Pro-Innovation Approach to AI Regulation” this year. A related Chinese law is in the making. 

Legislative control through rules must run parallel to their responsible practice by individuals. More needs to be done to contribute to the concerted global effort to control artificial intelligence. We cannot afford to leave human problems to artificial intelligence systems when humans possess the skills to solve them themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is AI?

Artificial intelligence is a field of knowledge that concentrates on making artificial systems intelligent like humans.

Q2. What are the pros and cons of AI?

Find your answer here.

Q3. What are the ethical concerns raised by the emergence of AI chatbots?

Read on this page to know the same.

Q4. What measures have been taken to regulate the use of artificial intelligence?

Read on this page to know them.

Q5. How to use artificial intelligence responsibly?

Find your answer here.


To conclude, humans have responded to the recent release of large language models powered by AI differently. They pose a potential risk to the existence of humans and human life. Their emergence has given rise to certain ethical concerns. Their use can be potentially harmful to human life. To avoid any possible harm from them, individuals should join hands with their governments to promote responsible use of the same.


Banafa, A. (2023, May 8). Psychological Impacts of Using AI. OpenMind. Accessed on 1 July 2023. 

Capek, K. (1920). R. U. R. Dover Thrift Publications. 

Gates, B. (2023). The Age of AI Has Begun. Gatesnotes. Accessed on 1 July 2023

Kleinman, Z., & Vallance, C. (2023, May 2). AI ‘godfather’ Geoffrey Hinton warns of dangers as he quits Google. BBC. Accessed on 1 July 2023. 

Mill, J. S. (2002). On Liberty. Dover Thrift Publications.

Musk, E. [@elonmusk]. (2023, May 1). Even benign dependency on AI/Automation is dangerous to civilization if taken so far that we eventually forget how the machines. [Tweet]. Twitter. Accessed on 1 July 2023.

Nietzsche, F. (2009). On the Genealogy of Morals. (D. Smith, Trans.). OUP. (Original work published 1859)

Smith, J. (2023, April 11). Every parent’s worst nightmare. Daily Mail. US edition. Accessed on 1 July 2023.

Spikins, P. (2022). Hidden Depths: the origins of human connection. White Rose University Press.,+emotional+experience,&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&source=gb_mobile_search&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=human%20life%20and%20emotions%2C%20emotional%20experience%2C&f=false. Accessed on 1 July 2023.

Xiang, C. (2023a, June 9). Zuckerberg’s Vision for AI. Vice. Accessed on 1 July 2023.

Xiang, C. (2023b, March 31). ‘He Would Still Be Here’: Man Dies by Suicide After Talking with AI Chatbot, Widow Says. Vice. Accessed on 1 July 2023.

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