AI: Don’t Be Afraid!

Originally published in the French newspaper Les Echos

Never before in the history of industries and technologies has an innovation been adopted as rapidly as ChatGPT. In just four months, this generative artificial intelligence has captivated hundreds of millions of users, an astounding success that far surpasses any other digital service of our era.

Yet, despite the excitement around ChatGPT and other generative AIs, some fear these technologies could threaten jobs and societal stability.

These fears, though understandable, are unfounded. History teaches us that technology has never eliminated jobs in the long term. In fact, the most automated countries often have the lowest unemployment rates and the highest prosperity. It’s likely that societies embracing the AI revolution will thrive, provided they develop effective professional training policies to help workers adapt to a changing job market.

Let’s not be overwhelmed by fear. Instead, let’s focus on how we can use these technologies to create a future of prosperity and growth. Europe, in particular, needs to step up its innovation efforts to catch up with the United States and China. The recent launch of the 3.5 billion euro ICTE project by the European Union is a promising sign, but it’s not enough. Europe must also organize and strengthen its stance to ensure data protection and anticipate the ethical challenges that malicious use of AI might pose. The Digital Services Act (DSA) spearheaded by Thierry Breton is a step towards affirming a powerful Europe. France is gradually emerging as a beacon of the digital revolution, with a dynamic FrenchTech ecosystem that’s bringing increasingly influential companies to the forefront of future power dynamics.

With the impending tsunami, rethinking the role of education is also essential. We have a responsibility to provide our children with excellent education that values scientific culture and mathematics, enabling them to thrive in a highly technological and ever-evolving world. The goal is no longer for humans to compete with AI but to collaborate with it for the best outcomes.

Beyond job-related concerns, other fears are voiced, particularly by the most reactionary segments of society, who see ChatGPT as a progressive Trojan horse aiming to impose “woke” culture. They fail to understand that today’s generative AIs, by drawing from all of humanity’s knowledge, are inherently consensual and unifying. They are neither “woke” nor ideological; they are simply the quintessence of human knowledge, much to the chagrin of those who seek to divide and oppose.

Throughout history, progress has always sparked fear and concern. This was the case with the printing press, vaccination, the automobile, the radio, and many other innovations that changed the world. We are fortunate to live in an era of significant technological upheavals that will transform our civilization. Let’s not let our fears blind us and deprive us of the opportunities this era offers. Let’s learn to master artificial intelligence and use it for the common good. Let’s not fear the future, but embrace it. Our sovereignty, freedom, and prosperity depend on it.

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