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Artificial Intelligence: good or evil?

There is hard to find a person who has not heard about the artificial intelligence. ChatGPT, Midjourney, Deepfake are increasingly appearing on front pages of various magazines, they are talked about, they are used by people all over the world… The capabilities of AI systems can benefit not only schoolchildren in the preparation of their homework but also help to advance modern medical research. Of course, all this is fine but despite the incredible achievements of modern technologies, they are not exist without risks. The new issue and the new cover of The Economist magazine are devoted to the not quite obvious, but quite real possibilities of AI which can both make a lot of useful discoveries for humanity or put the world on the brink of disaster.

2022 and 2023 in The Economist magazine covers reviews

Artificial Intelligence: good or evil?

Authors of this cover decided to illustrate the dualism of the very nature of artificial intelligence in the most obvious and understandable way – with the help of images of good and evil, angel and demon. This comparison is far from accidental. In 2022, Interpolice recorded an increase in the number of cybercrimes by more than 22% compared to 2021. AI researchers warn that new technologies can multiply their number and cause a flow of misinformation that can damage many economic sectors and financial institutions. The main problem of modern AI systems is that they are opaque, often unreliable, difficult to decipher and potentially uncontrollable. These technologies can be used for malicious purposes, such as election sabotage with fake statements or messages from candidates or the dissemination of false medical information.

How difficult to create a digital financial system based on Shariah law

At the beginning of 2023, 37 rules concerning artificial intelligence were in effect in different countries. The toughest sanctions against AI were imposed by the Italian government, prohibiting the use of the GhatGPT system. However, there is practically no global regulation. A patchwork regulatory system with numerous gaps in legislation will not bring much benefit and security, because artificial intelligence is not only a digital code that can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be trained and improved, gradually bringing the issues of compliance of AI work with legal, cultural, religious and social aspects of people’s lives closer. Existing technologies have more opportunities to generate false information than to detect it.

In the context of the issues raised when discussing the present and future of artificial intelligence in people’s lives, it is advisable to determine how the traditions and norms of Islam relate to them. As with cryptocurrencies, there is no consensus in the Islamic world about what is more in AI systems: good (utility) or evil.

In 2020, were announced the grantees of the Asia-Pacific “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence Research” Initiative, allocating a grant of $25,000 to encourage the use of various traditional knowledge from around the world in artificial intelligence research. Two Pakistani scientists were selected among them: Dr. Junaid Qadir and Amana Raquib.

“Islam has ethical traditions that date back more than 1400 years. However, two billion people professing these beliefs are not sufficiently aware of the principles and capabilities of AI. Our work should fill this gap,” says Junaid Qadir.lamic teachings about God and justice should be taken into account and implemented when designing AI systems.

The position of Islamic theorists in relation to artificial intelligence is mainly determined by the general principle that all Muslim scientists follow: everything new, except for what concerns Ibada, is permissible if there is no concrete evidence of their prohibition. In the Holy Qur’an, man-made objects and inventions, such as ships, are also described as blessings and signs of the mercy of Almighty Allah. And therefore there is no evidence that Islam prohibits or discourages artificial intelligence. However, artificial intelligence should be used only in such a way that it benefits people and does not contradict the very spirit of Islam.

Islam places great emphasis on learning and progress. From the innovative Al-Razi laboratory apparatus of the 9th century AD to the Al-Jazari water lifting machine developed in the 13th century, Muslims have always been at the helm of scientific and technological achievements. In fact, the word “algorithm”, which occupies a central place in the structure of artificial intelligence, comes from the name of Al-Khorezmi, a Muslim scientist and mathematician of the IX century, who first introduced this concept. Therefore, Muslim scientists should study more deeply the issues of the introduction and use of artificial intelligence, doing everything possible to improve the world around them.

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