The idea that artificial intelligence could someday destroy our world is frightening, but it distracts from a much more pressing issues.

Last week, another warning against the dangers of artificial intelligence was issued. With one sentence, hundreds of experts, including Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, and ‘AI godfather’ Geoffrey Hinton, hope to wake up the world: ‘Reducing the risk of destruction by AI should be a global priority alongside other risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.’

Artificial intelligence is already everywhere, and if we want to keep a grip on the future, we need to start actually seeing what’s happening right under our noses. The technology of the same Sam Altman, for example, is now being used to harvest data from 13-year-olds via Snapchat’s MyAI. The goal of the friendly chatbot? Generate income through hyper-personalized ads.

Together with Menno Van Doorn and Sander Duivestein I wrote an opinion piece for the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. It was published last weekend. It’s in Dutch, but I made a machine translation to EN:

Dutch Publication: Het Parool – Opinie: ‘Hoe gevaarlijk is een chatbot als ‘digitaal vriendje?’