In case you missed the transition of Artificial Intelligence out of the realm of sci-fi movies and onto your web browser: BC’s premier is making the rounds to tell you about it.
AI engines like the notorious ChatGPT have been stirring the global pot.
Some think it’s the next step in human evolution, maybe even the key to world peace and never working again (Praise Be Hallelujah).
Others think it’s the beginning of the end (Duh duh, DAHHHH).
BC Premier David Eby recently spoke about AI in Nanaimo, and unlike Tech Billionaire Elon Musk, he wants to see what happens next.
Eby said AI represents “incredible opportunities” for BC.
Beyond “no-brain-needed” writing tools that can whip up an alternate universe Animal Farm movie script written in the style of James Cameron in seconds (very entertaining), it is AI’s less mainstream applications that Eby has found most promising.
He referenced the use of AI by Vancouver-based AbCellera.
The company has utilized AI to analyze immune cells to search for new antibodies that could produce drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.
“I have seen the promise firsthand that has actually been delivered on already in British Columbia by AI,” he said.
“I think that AI in terms of BC’s technology sector, our economy and the opportunities it presents for increasing our productivity, our efficiency and opportunities for all British Columbians, it’s very significant, and we want to be able to take advantage of that.”
It sounds like he’s ready for Robots.
However, he mentioned that AI “has some potential challenges that we are going to have to overcome.”
This seems to reference the opposite side of the AI support spectrum, which is much more hesitant to go full “Love, Death + Robots.” (A Netflix binge if there ever was one.)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk (ironically the founder of the company that developed ChatGPT), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and another 31,810 people have signed an open letter calling for the immediate pause of AI development.
“(Should) we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us?” it reads.
The BC Green Party seems more on board with this bandwagon.
They recently called for an all-party task force to establish a “common understanding among MLAs [on AI] and ensure ongoing consultation with academia, industry, the public sector, and the public.”
The BC Greens support AI’s potential to improve many of BC’s business sectors but say, “[these] innovative technologies must be deployed with needs of Canadian workers at the forefront of policy discussions.”
The party has proposed a “robot tax,” which would charge companies the cost of an employee’s income for every person they replace with an AI tool.
Eby might not be on board with a robot tax just yet. He did say that BC’s privacy commissioner is already working to look at the repercussions of AI around the privacy of British Columbians.
Unfortunately, the privacy commissioner can’t tell the future of the free world.
When it comes to Eby VS Elon, there’s no clear winner just yet.