The bias and discrimination in artificial intelligence, and whether it will mean the "end of humanity", will be part of a hot discussion at Coledale Community Hall this week.
"AI exploded exponentially around the world [during the pandemic] and governments took their eyes off it, so we're kind of living in a time in history like between the advent of the motor-vehicles and the development of seat belts," she explained.
"There is a very unsafe atmosphere around artificial intelligence and governments and society are only now just catching up."
It comes as a US toymaker VTech Holdings this week declared AI teddy bears that read personalised bedtime stories to your kids could become a norm by 2028, sparking much debate as they would have access to personal information about the child.
What concerns Spicer the most is the future job losses in manufacturing and other industries with AI computers taking over, along with the embedded bias such as discrimination in job recruitment algorithms, home-loan applications or in hospitals to determine "who gets a ventilator and who doesn't".
"I've got two teenage kids aged 17 and 18, and they're going into this world where a lot of the imagery and the storytelling and the decisions will be made by algorithms that are really biased because they're based on data from the past," she said.
"I've had a play with different types of AI technology, for example, Chat GPT and an image generator called Midjourney.
"Whenever you asked for an image of a woman, it gave you an overly sexualized image with really large breasts of a tiny waste. When asked to tell you a story about an engineer and a childcare worker in 100 per cent of cases the engineer would be male and the childcare worker will be female.
Since her book was published in May, Spicer has made hundreds of public appearances around the country to discuss the evolution of AI and found huge concerns by the public over negative impacts of AI on children and young people.
"There's an overarching concern in society about younger people using technology too much losing the ability for critical thinking for conversations concerns around cyber bullying," she said.
"What we need ultimately is for governments to take action."
Ways for everyday people to make a difference, she said, was to switch Siri or Alexa to a male voice (as the majority of home chatbots were a female), boycott Uber for a taxis of Shebah, and investigate and support companies who were invested in the ethical use of AI.
Tracey Spicer will be in conversation with Caroline Baum at Coledale Community Hall, Saturday October 7 at 5pm. Tickets range from $5 to $10, through Humanitix.
The event will also launch the upcoming True Story Festival of non-fiction writing, set for November 18 and 19. For more details, visit: https://southcoastwriters.org/
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