ChatGPT, which arrived on the scene at the tail end of the last year, was heralded as a revolution. However, it is just a new level of AI technology that has existed for some years and will continue to evolve and shape how we learn, communicate, and consume information. Its arrival, however, gave public discourse a much-needed push.
The popularity of AI discussion has been growing in pop culture along with the development of computer technology. Some of the most persistent fears and ethical questions were explored through media and films like "Terminator," "Ghost in the Shell," "Matrix," "AI," "I, Robot," and many others. It peaked at the turn of the Millennium, characterized by cyberpunk mainstream, but then gradually weaned off. The wide availability of personal computers (and later smartphones) probably demystified technology and calmed public anxiety about AI.
However, today we find ourselves on the next whorl of the spiral. We came full circle and ascended to a new level. It's high time we discussed AI and the challenges that the latest state of this technology presents us with. Since every self-respecting media has already published an essay on artificial intelligence from its leading columnist, you won't be starved for inspiration and ideas for your own piece. However, you must make your original argument when tasked with an essay on AI as an assignment.
In this post, we will give you advice on writing an argumentative essay to express your position, whether you tend to see the good or the bad of AI technology.
How to Write a Positive Argumentative Essay on Artificial Intelligence
Writing positively about anything new usually means going against the trend. When a technology, especially as significant and powerful as AI, arrives on the scene, the majority of people tend to err on the side of caution and see possible dangers as if through a magnifying glass. At the same time, potential benefits are often dismissed because the status quo is often perceived as the norm, something "good enough" that's being threatened by change.
For example, people took the idea of text-generating capabilities of AI and ran away with it, claiming that students will now have tireless free essay writers online in ChatGPT and the ilk, so they will no longer learn how to write themselves. This attitude takes a small fraction of students that see writing as a chore and use technology to cheat. It completely dismisses students who find writing a fulfilling way of self-expression and, overall, a rewarding activity. It also ignores the fact that even before AI tools, there were always plenty of cheap custom papers online for those willing to cheat this way. Even before that, there were always obliging classmates embarrassed for cash or helping a friend out of the goodness of their hearts.
Moreover, teachers and parents concerned with how students use AI tools underestimate human curiosity about novelty. AI is a new shiny toy – of course, young people will try to do everything they can with it.
Anyway, it's good to remember that everything new is met with enthusiasm by younger people and wariness and suspicion by older ones. To highlight this, you can mention in your essay that even writing itself was criticized by Socrates, who thought it would weaken human memory and corrupt knowledge. The wide availability of printed books was considered a threat to public morals. TV was supposed to dumb people down and damage their eyesight. Mobile phones were rumored to cause brain tumors (believe me, I've already been alive when this was still discussed seriously).
Contrasting these past moral panics with current situations will help you make a case in favor of artificial intelligence.
One more important argument to make is, of course, how AI can benefit everyone. People who fear or criticize it often aren't aware of how deeply AI is already woven into the fabric of our daily life. Spam email filtration, face ID, image recognition, content recommendations, Google search, voice assistance like Siri and Alexa, route mapping and traffic updates, location-specific weather forecast, improved online banking safety – all this and more is made possible thanks to AI.
Another prevalent fear is based on projected mass redundancies. People are afraid that AI will cause unemployment to soar since it will replace so many jobs previously performed by humans. Again, this is nothing new. History knows hundreds upon hundreds of occupations made obsolete by technology, yet people still manage to work themselves to death. For every position technology replaces, it creates one or two new job titles. AI needs training and maintenance, so people definitely won't be out of work any time soon. True, some redundancies will happen, but people will be able to retrain and find new, more fulfilling jobs.
You can use these arguments with some fresh examples relevant to your field as a basis for your essay in defense of AI. Make sure to stay objective and address your opponents thoughtfully and respectfully instead of mocking them for their reservations. In an affirmative and positive way, you will persuade more people.
How to Write an Essay on Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence
Now, let's suppose you are wary of artificial intelligence and its impact on society and want your essay to be critical. This doesn't mean it has to be all doom and gloom essay on Artificial Intelligence: A Threat to Mankind TM. Instead, you should point out some harmful implications that must be addressed as soon as possible if we don't want to live out one of the dystopian scenarios.
You want to be critical but don't want to sound like a Luddite because you don't want to be dismissed easily. Your goal is to win people over on your side and open their eyes to some genuine dangers. Why it's important? Let me tell you a story.
If you are a traditional college student, you are too young to remember the panic around the "Year 2000 problem." In the years leading up to the Millennium, people became wary of the possible glitches and computer errors related to formatting and storage of data that used only two digits to represent the year. For example, they used 87 instead of 1987 because the first part of the date seemed redundant for most of the 20th century. As things stood, potential confusion could arise after the year 2000. The glitches included babies born on January 1, 2000, being recorded as 100 years old, the bank systems failing to calculate payroll, prisons setting release dates for inmates in the last century, computers ceasing processing information, etc. All real cases, by the way.
Contrary to public apprehension, few significant errors occurred, and the world wasn't plunged into chaos. The apocalypse didn't happen. The Y2K scare became the butt of many jokes. However, the very reason for this relatively smooth transition was that people started thinking about the potential threats and coming up with solutions to mitigate the risks. The Y2K problem was timely fixed, yet it doesn't mean there never was any danger.
AI presents a similar challenge. It is a powerful technology that opens up many unexplored possibilities. It is our duty to explore all of the possible scenarios, even the grim ones. We must speculate about the eventual dangers to make sure they never come to fruition.
One of such dangers is AI's "creativity," aka the ability to generate new combinations of data and words based on things it has already learned. What was conceived as a beneficial and flexible feature in theory, in reality, can lead to fakes, lies, and spikes in conspiracy theories. For example, ChatGPT can generate believable quotes people never said, it can invent fictional studies, and create authoritatively sounding personalities that never existed. It often returns all this fiction to answer queries that ask for facts.
With things as they stand, a person receiving convincingly sounding fiction instead of facts has no way of knowing which is which unless they do due diligence and fact-check thoroughly. If I am any judge of human nature, few will do that.
This can lead to horrible consequences. QAnon, Reptilian conspiracy theory, Holocaust deniers, war crimes apologists – all this exists and multiplies in the echo chambers created by content recommendation algorithms. Imagine AI's impact on existing problems and the new ones it can start by confirming lies and fabricating evidence? Conspiracy theories don't exist just online. They spill out on the streets and cost lives.
We must address the core issues baked into AI and build mechanisms preventing the harmful effects it might cause.
Another thing to consider is people engaging with AI with criminal intent. Developers must come up with safety mechanisms that will prevent AI from being weaponized. AI can be used to intentionally deceive and mislead people by faking news, evidence, speeches, and even personalities. This is a threat both on a personal scale (for example, AI being used for catfishing) and at the national level (people rallying around a false and dangerous idea).
When you look at these negative possibilities, try to remain grounded and fall back on the facts. For example, cite cases when AI actually faked evidence and misattributed quotes. You need to show your readers that your concerns are valid and must be addressed as soon as possible.
How to Brainstorm Essay Topics on Artificial Intelligence
You can, of course, go to an AI of your choice and ask it to suggest some interesting topics for you. However, AI's offerings will most likely be based on what an average user finds interesting. If you want to brainstorm a unique topic, you should look closer to home. Ask yourself these questions:
- What problems will AI help solve in your field of study?
- How will AI change your life as a student?
- Which perspectives will AI open in your future career?
- What are some possible challenges AI might present for you as a professional?
- How can creators of AI future-proof the technology against potential abuse by criminals and other bad actors?
- What are some anxieties and fears you personally have about AI-powered technology? Where do these fears stem?
This will help you find the topic connected with realities you know well. Moreover, you will be intellectually and emotionally invested in this discussion because you will have stakes in the matter.
Here are some sample suggestions that you can take as they are or put your unique spin on them to communicate your personal perspective:
- The Ethical Implications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- The Impact of AI on the Future of Work and Employment
- The Benefits and Risks of AI for Healthcare and Medicine
- The Emergence of Autonomous Vehicles and their Effects on Society
- AI and Cybersecurity: How Machine Learning is Changing the Game
- The Role of AI in Transforming Education and Learning
- AI and Data Privacy: Balancing Innovation with Protection
- Predictive Analytics and Big Data: How AI is Changing Business Decision-making
- AI and Climate Change: Creating Sustainable Solutions for the Future
- The Future of Humanity and AI: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
Whichever argument you want to make in your essay about AI, don't forget to back up your claims with evidence, fact-check information you find online, stay objective, and be respectful to your opponents. Good luck and happy writing!