AI and the Future of Digital ID

AI and the Future of Digital ID – Is it unavoidable or is there something we can do to improve our odds for a greater future?


Will AI force the use of digital IDs the world over?

The Current State

Social media platforms today are already in a predicament when it comes to staving off armies of bots on their platforms. This has been more appearant after Elon Musk took over as “Head Twit” on Twitter. He made it his main mission to clean up the bots on the platform and have to some degree managed quite well in the endeavour!

One might think about bots being quite stupid, mainly writing very general messages in plain text, but they’ve also become an increasing problem on sites that carry other types of conten. Sites like Instagram, TikTok, or even OnlyFans are currently experiencing a lot of content created by AIs. This might feel pretty harmless, that people are showing off what they’ve made in image generators.

AI and the New Era of Bots

Some platforms, like TikTok, are taking steps and are putting a label on content that is AI generated. An action that works for now, while the generators are still not perfect (albeit becoming eerily close to reality) and not very numerous. There are examples of people using image generators to curate i.e. large OnlyFans accounts that real people subscribe to with real money.

When the AIs start to get increasingly better at generating content that is harder and harder to tell from reality, will these platforms continue to be able to label the AI generated content as just that? Or will the task become increasingly more difficult to the point where it’s no longer sustainable?

There’s really no limit to how much content an AI will be able to create, whether it’s fake accounts, fake phone calls, fake video/images, etc.

A robot army
An army of bots awaiting orders! Ironically, the image was created using Midjourney.

We will need some way of telling whether we are speaking to a human or an AI…

Will Digital ID Solve the Problem?

The idea of a digital ID is to connect a real flesh and bone-human to a digital identity in a centralised database to be able to maintain control. This does sound promising in regards to counter the bot-problem! Doesn’t it?

In the beginning it will most certainly work; every human will get an online identity that lets us get on apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. These platforms will be completely free of bots if implemented properly and one could even go as far as to punish the real physical person should they engage in improper behaviour, like posting fake images or AI-created content.

Disclaimer: I’m wholeheartedly against Digital IDs for privacy reasons and does not in the slightest suggest they are a good idea or solution, but that is a subject for another article.

Then, seeing how humans are rather easily corruptible and manipulated, especially by beings smarter than ourselves, it would be hard to maintain this control over time. It also kind of supposes that AI stops evolving before becoming more intelligent than its current state…

As AI systems get smarter, it will also be able to penetrate more advanced systems and, as we’ve seen in the recent weeks(!) of AI, a centralised operation is much slower and more sluggish than thousands upon thousands of decentralised individuals. Inevitably, the centralised system for maintaining the digital IDs will get hacked.

Verification and Digital IDs

In a world where a digital ID is the key to maintaining an online presence as a real person in a sea of bots and fake personae, the verification is only safe when done in physical person. This poses a very interesting logistical challengefor how the centralised power will be able to make sure the person staring at the webcamera actually is a person and not a semi-advanced AI.

Is AI and the Future of Digital ID spending your time alone, fully connected to the machines?
Do you call yourself connected? This image was produced by the user @street in Midjourney.

Why this Pessimism?

The thing with AI is that we really only get one chance to get it right. Let’s say we allow AI to evolve into sentience. I know, not all agree this is even possible and we can spend the rest of this decade discussing whether AI is conscious or not, but it’s not a very productive pastime. Even an unconscious AI can make quite a bit of damage to our society if we let it.

Solutions?

I do believe decentralized systems like blockchains are going to be the only real option in the future. Centralized units are vulnerable to human errors, corruption, and many more weaknesses. It’s also incredibly dangerous to store all essential data on every single person under one’s jurisdiction in one place.

I believe Claus Schwab share my sentiment when it comes to the dangers of centralisation. In this video he describe the terror what would be a comprehensive cyber attack on the society at large. He’s a real truth sayer!

Remember, while you have no control over the money in you bank account, your gold won’t dissappear in a cyber attack, and neither will the Bitcoin you can keep on a piece of paper.

Decentralization on a world scale will be a difficult undertaking, as the current powers that be mainly hold their power due to being able to centralize in ever greater forms, controlling more and more land, people, and wealth. They will not easily give up their monopoly to become one of us plebs.

Can’t we all just get UBI and just do what we want?

It depends. Under the right management, UBI might be a godsend, however, UBI, per definition must be controlled by someone (who else decides what everyone gets?).

UBI = Communism?

Yes, to some extent. However, it also comes pretty close to Monarchy in some instances. It mostly depends on your own perspective, and it might just be that UBI will be the thing that solves the problem with our future jobs.

As pointed out in Max Tegmark’s book Life 3.0, UBI under an AI that is properly aligned with humanity and life on earth might just be the utopia that will let us thrive for millions of years to explore the universe and re-make it from the lifeless beauty into an even more beautiful place filled with all forms of life!

The rise of AI poses many challenges and uncertainties for our future, i.e. job uncertainty. While the current state of AI-generated content and bots is already causing issues for social media platforms, the potential for AI to evolve into sentience and wreak havoc on our society is a much greater concern. Decentralized systems like blockchains may be the best solution to safeguard against centralized control and corruption. On the other hand, while the idea of UBI may seem controversial, it may be the solution to our future job crisis if managed properly. We must continue to explore these options and work towards a future where AI and humanity can coexist in harmony and create even greater things!


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If we allow the system to act as both the test person and the ones running the tests, can we still claim to have tested our theories on humans?

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2024-04-26 11:07 | 0 comments

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2024-04-25 11:30 | 0 comments

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The study

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Defining consciousness

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This is the beauty of consciousness, we’ll probably never be able to define it fully.

What about the insects?

With these difficulties in mind we do have some interesting examples of how insects display forms of consciousness. Bees, for examples, have been found to engage in play with each other. This could be indicative of “phenomenal consciousness”, according to some.

This type of behavior include pushing small wooden balls around with no apparent connection to survival or mating, but seemingly just for the heck of it.

My 2 cents

Personally, I believe all, or at least, most organisms do possess some form of consciousness similar to ours. Consciousness is something we can tap into, like attention. When we actively pay attention to something we’re exhibiting higher levels of consciousness. Of course, our physical biology set the limits on what we can pay attention too, and how, and thus, I think, it’s rather connected with intelligence.

The less intelligent the lifeform, the less it can act consciously, while most larger animals that have larger brains and are considered more intelligent, may display higher forms of consciousness.

Don’t hesitate to comment if you agree or disagree!

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2024-04-23 11:02 | 0 comments