PoliticianGPT: The Ghost in the Shell

Published On: April 25, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Bimal Pratap Shah

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in mainstream consciousness, thanks in part to applications like ChatGPT. The emergence of new generative AI tools like ChatGPT has highlighted that AI is no longer confined to academic research or sci-fi stories like 'Ghost in the Shell,' which depict a futuristic world where humans merge with cybernetic technology. The success of ChatGPT has given rise to radical concepts, such as PoliticianGPT. While the notion of PoliticianGPT replacing human politicians may seem implausible, many individuals are now persuaded of AI's potential to offer impartial and efficient leadership. While the prospect of machines, like PoliticianGPT, developing their own will and acting independently of human control is indeed concerning, the more pressing issue lies in whether parliamentarians, particularly in Nepal, can come together to effectively manage the development and utilization of advanced AI for the benefit of Nepali people.

“Ghost in the Shell" is a popular Japanese media franchise that began as a manga series in 1989 exploring the implications of this idea in a world where technology has advanced to the point where our bodies and minds can be augmented or even replaced with cybernetic implants. Furthermore, the concept of the "shell" refers to the physical body or vessel that contains the ghost. The shell can be modified or replaced, but the ghost remains the same, questioning whether our sense of identity is tied to our physical form or something deeper. 'Ghost in the Shell' also delves into philosophical inquiries about the essence of consciousness, identity, and the correlation between humanity and technology. The series challenges everyone to consider what it truly means to be human in a world where our bodies and minds can be so drastically altered and augmented by technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a central theme in the series, exploring the complex relationship between humanity and technology, and the implications of advanced AI on the concept of identity and the soul. AI is depicted as a powerful tool that can augment human capabilities and extend our reach, but it also raises important questions about what it means to be human and whether consciousness can be replicated or transferred to a non-biological entity.

The central character of the series, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is a cyborg with a ghost that has been integrated into a mechanical body. She grapples with the implications of her own existence and the extent to which her consciousness is tied to her physical form. In addition, the series explores the idea of AI achieving self-awareness and consciousness, raising enquiries about the nature of consciousness and the soul. At the same time, the series explores the potential dangers of advanced AI, such as the risk of machines developing their OWN WILL and ACTING INDEPENDENTLY of human control. Now, there is a need to be mindful of the potential risks and take steps to ensure that these systems are aligned with human values and interests as a more advanced AI gets developed.

Elon Musk has been warning about AI for many years. Just a few weeks back, Elon Musk warned that AI could lead to “civilization destruction,” even as he remains deeply involved in the growth of AI through his many companies. According to Elon Musk, AI poses a greater risk to humanity than other potential dangers such as mismanaged aircraft or car production. The stakes are high as even a small probability of AI leading to civilization destruction cannot be taken lightly.

In Nepal, the rapid advancement of AI has outpaced the capacity of Parliament and Singha Durbar to effectively regulate and govern the technology. The issue lies in the fact that a majority of lawmakers lack a comprehensive understanding of AI and its potential impacts. Nobody seems to be discussing the importance of promoting and regulating AI in the parliament. Unfortunately, the lack of Members of Parliament (MPs) with a comprehensive understanding of advanced technology and its potential applications, risks, and ethical implications is a significant obstacle for Nepal's effective management of AI.

With the emergence of ChatGPT, it has become increasingly evident that generative AI tools such as PoliticianGPT or ParliamentGPT will play a significant role in governing our future. But before we reach that point in time, we have to start electing competent political leaders who understand the complexities of AI and can navigate its potential dangers while ensuring that its benefits are accessible to all.

As AI continues to advance and become increasingly integrated into our lives, it is important to consider the ethical implications of its development.  There is a need to prioritize creating ethical frameworks that promote transparency, accountability, and collaboration between humans and machines to help ensure that AI is developed in a responsible manner that serves humanity's best interests, without compromising our safety or security. The world needs to exercise caution as the prospect of AI developing its own will and acting independently of human control can be daunting. Nepali parliament appears to be clueless about AI and its potential implications.

It is concerning that the topic of AI is yet to be meaningfully discussed in Parliament. It is crucial for elected Nepal’s Member of Parliament (MPs) to engage in open and informed discussions about the benefits and risks of AI, as well as the ethical considerations that must be taken into account. By doing so, we can work towards creating a regulatory framework that promotes the safe and responsible development and deployment of AI. Crucially, it falls upon our elected representatives to contemplate the question of whether, as technology and biology converge, humanity is defined by the physical confines of our bodies or by our mental faculties such as creativity, self-awareness, and consciousness. The outcome of this debate will determine how we approach the ethical implications of integrating technology and biology, and shape the kind of world that we will create for future generations.

The very idea that something possessing awareness and autonomy to define its own existence may qualify as alive is a thought-provoking one. It raises a profound question regarding the possible existence of a soul within a machine, should it achieve sufficient levels of self-awareness challenging the traditional notions of what it means to be alive, yet it presents a tantalizing glimpse into the potential evolution of technology and the philosophical musings that will accompany it. Ensuring that this crucial topic and its associated questions receive the attention they deserve is paramount. It will help to keep the Parliament relevant to the 21st century and prevent it from retaining a medieval approach, ultimately contributing to Nepal's progress towards a modern society.

Electing competent politicians is the first step towards ensuring that the development and use of advanced AI is effectively managed and regulated.

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