AI and Free Information

An interesting perspective from this article.

Due to the rise of AI with ChatGPT, there has been a concern that we will become overrelliant on the technology to generate ideas, do our homework, create art and write posts. Increasingly, we will delegate our creative power to AI systems and reduce the variety of new and novel ideas from the world. In the article, he states that AI will come to help us in a world where information is free and abundant. In the previous world of the Industrial Revolution and before, knowledge was scarce and those who had it could build new things, disrupt industries and generate wealth. However, the internet has changed all of this and there is too much information going around. In fact, it can be said that most of it is rubbish and a waste of time. In the modern world, we don't need people who can regurgitate information as it is readily available exists and cheap to acquire with a simple Google search and now using ChatGPT. The real question is sieving out the noise and getting relevant information.

From my project in 4th year of university, I recognised that the fight against fake news cannot be fought by building advanced machine learning models to filter the internet or redesign social media to discentivise misinformation. I believed that it was up to the individual to filter through the information that they consume and internalise what is relevant while discarding the rubbish. The goal was to create a crowdsourcing tool to identify fake news on Twitter. In the short-term, it would flag fake news on the web and allow people to view the post with skepticism. The long-term vision was to teach the skill of skepticism, contrarian-thinking and fact-checking to the users of the platform. It was a way to teach people how to take a step back and consider the validity of the content they have just consumed.

The issue with misinformation is that it looks like news to the person who resonates with it. Bad fake news can be spotted from a mile away but great fake news is indetectable and requires a trained eye, a prepared mind or the help of a crowd. At the end of the day, misinformation and fake news can be reduced to subjectivity because the truth is not known by the person in question and it can only be determined through research, introspection and feedback from other people or systems.

The most scalable and long-term solution to a world of content-generating AI and abundant and cheap information is to teach people how to navigate these waters as individuals and consumers of this information. Instead of being dumb consumers, they can become verifiers and editors of the information that they receive. They must have the soundness of mind and right mental frameworks to seperate the true from the false, the real from the fake and the empowering from the misleading. This sounds very libertarian[1] but that's what needs to be done. We should allows me people to learn how to work with the chaos around them, instead of building castles that protect them from the inevitable. Let them live freely and bravely in a world of AI and Free Information.


  1. What is a libertarian? Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds individual liberty and limited government. Libertarians believe in personal and economic freedom, the right to private property, and minimal government intervention in the economy or social lives of individuals. They emphasize individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxation, and support markets and free-market capitalism. ↩︎