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[Sung Soo Eric Kim] Why generative AI must be regulated

July 10, 2024 - 05:31 By Korea Herald

I visited the Louvre Museum a couple of months ago, where legends and mythologies of humankind are preserved.

Before the age of scientific reasoning in the 19th century, humankind lived based on beliefs and myths since we could not prove or scientifically reason what someone else observed. What became a legend and then a truth was based on what we wanted to see as a truth from a compelling story told by others.

We could record what we see with modern recording technology during the Industrial Revolution, such as photography, filming, audio recording and X-rays. Finally, others could examine whether what someone claims is true or not.

Recording technology became the basis of scientific research and journalism. We built scientific institutions and communities to cross-check scientific observations and established journalism to deliver what happened based on recording technologies.

Only with one premise, that the recording is authentic and original, we could finally evolve to an era of scientific reasoning, humankind concerning a straightforward thought: “What is true?”

With generative AI, the premise has collapsed that what we see and hear, seeming to be recorded, should be accurate. The last resort for people to validate facts based on the recording will lose credibility, and we will no longer be able to scientifically reason based on facts.

What we want to believe as facts becomes truth to us and, ironically, the most advantageous technology humankind created; we will now return to the era of legends and mythology.

To prevent humankind from rewinding the clock in history, we need to regulate AI by technologically enforcing disclaimers that it is AI-generated.

This requires an immediate international collaborative effort to understand the impact of generative AI on society and implement globally applicable regulations. This also calls for the establishment of an international organization to govern AI.

Sung Soo Eric Kim

Sung Soo Eric Kim is associate professor at Keio Business School, adjunct professor at Yonsei Business School, and the founder and CEO of Datacrunch Global. The views expressed here are the writer’s own. -- Ed.