Kaag warns of dangers of AI for democracy: "the beast is growing"
D66 chairwoman Sigrid Kaag is concerned about the dangers artificial intelligence (AI) poses to democracy. "The beast is growing," she said during her speech at the D66 party conference at the RAI in Amsterdam.
Technological progress is "a great thing," Kaag stressed. But some developments, she said, also create alienation. "Twitter democracy reduces public debate to a vulgar schoolyard brawl at best. And I'm expressing myself politely here."
In the field of AI, the self-learning chatbot ChatGPT is "just the beginning," the D66 leader stated. She sees risks primarily in the possibilities of using AI to create fake videos. "Manipulating images blurs the line between fake and real," she said, and will "fuel global mistrust."
AI could also be a tool for malicious regimes to exert influence in other countries, according to Kaag. "The risk of foreign influence and undermining elections is catastrophic for democracy."
In addition, Kaag warns of the consequences for the people themselves. "Jobs will disappear," she expects. "In countries with labor shortages, that may be a welcome development. But the further erosion of the middle class could be the final blow to fragile confidence in the institutions of democracy."
Furthermore, Kaag blames the defeat of D66 and almost all other established parties in the recent provincial council elections for increasing insecurity and inequality. "People are experiencing inequality in status, inequality in the distribution of gains and wealth," she said. That is fueling distrust. "That's the real problem," the D66 chairwoman stressed.
In her speech, Kaag called for action and protection of citizens.”Here too, Europe can prove its worth and lead the world,” she emphasized.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times