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2023 marked the growth of artificial intelligence

(NBC, KYMA/KECY) - In late October, President Biden issued an executive order requiring tech companies report to the government about the risks of the "artificial intelligence" (AI) they are developing at breakneck speed.

This month, the European Union (EU) agreed to landmark legislation regulating the technology.

The AI that has made our daily lives easier in many ways, and shows promise in areas like medicine and education, also comes with questions and concerns.

Some of them raised by the very people who helped to create AI.

Year of the AI

2023 was when AI went from nerdy jargon to a daily part of politics, entertainment, and even schoolwork.

It's grown so fast, ChatGPT, from industry leader OpenAI, now has 100 million weekly users since its launch last year, with 92% of Fortune 500 companies using its software.

The stuff AI did this year is amazing like catching a glimpse of our thoughts and spoting mental health risks in children.

"An output will say, 'This is a patient in high risk. This is a patient at low risk,'" said Dr. Tracy Glauser with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Not only that, AI could create tons and tons of weird art.


However, as 2024 approaches, AI's ability to trick anyone's eyes could be the end of trust.

"Deepfakes. Face swap. Unbelivably easy to do," said Hany Farid with the University of California (UC) Berkeley School of Information.

Farid, before he was interviewed, made NBC News correspondent Jake Ward look like he starred in Doctor Strange.

However, that same tech in our politics can be dangerous. The Republican National Convention (RNC) already aired one AI-generated add full of fake imagery.

"Go to Slovakia right now where the Russians are trying to interfere with elections. Go to the Sudan where we're seeing fake audio trying to stoke civil unrest," Farid remarked.

Not worth giving up

Still, David Holz, founder of AI art company Midjourney, says the risk of misuse isn't worth giving up on AI.

"It's better just to trust people, that they're going to use things in good ways. You're always going to get some edge case, but like somebody said, 'That's just what having an effect on the world is like'"

David Holz, founder of Midjourney

AI investors, like former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, say companies should more or less regulate themselves.

"There's no one in the government who can get it right. But the industry can roughly get it right. And then the government can put a regulatory structure around it."

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

That argument has mostly won out as Europe and China both passed AI regulations this year, but as 2023 winds down, the U.S. remains the wild west for AI, a world-changing technology moving so fast, with little sign of slowing down.

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