Over recent years, we’ve seen the rise of crypto, non-fungible tokens (NFT), and now, artificial intelligence (AI).

The trending topics have made their way from the tech world and into pop culture. During an episode of the popular “The Friend Zone” podcast, the hosts even discussed a controversial viral moment involving AI.

A clip circulated online of an AI-backed voice filter mimicking Kendrick Lamar’s voice.

“I hope for something in the media or something in humans to spark to where we don’t have to feel as cautious as we do when things like this arise because what if this could be used for something good?” host Assanté said during the episode when talking about potential laws and regulation.

He added: “As technology grows, how do we become more responsible? How do we actually use this for the betterment of ourselves and our future? Just making sure that things go right versus using [AI] to go wrong.”

The hosts’ discussion was based on Young Guru’s response to the clip. The Grammy award-winning engineer was one of many to speak out about his fear of the direction that AI is heading not only for music but in all industries.

“Of course my mind goes to the ethical and legal aspects of what can be done with programs like Tacotron 2,” Young Guru shared in a now-deleted Instagram post, per Complex. “You add that to the power of ChatGPT and you realize we are in a very groundbreaking but dangerous moment. It’s not the tech, it’s the evil that men do with the tech. There are legal aspects because at this present moment you can’t copyright a voice.”

Get your ticket to AfroTech Executive Seattle today by clicking here.

As aforementioned in Young Guru’s post, ChatGPT is one of the latest trends in the AI space.

Take a look into AfroTech’s breakdown of the popular tool, how the Black community can take advantage of it, and its potential dangers.

What is ChatGPT?

Back in November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT — an AI chatbot.

OpenAI is a research and deployment company that aims “to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” according to its website.

The San Francisco-based company is led by co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, and is backed by Microsoft, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Khosla Ventures, per CNBC.

The purpose of ChatGPT is to emulate a conversation. Once users type in what they’re seeking to know, the chatbot generates a text-based response. ChatGPT has the ability to understand numerous topics through its extensive training in text data.

Here’s a Complete ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence OpenAI Training Bundle, in case you want to check it out yourself.

What are the benefits of ChatGPT?

As it continues to rise in popularity, people have been discovering new ways to use it to their advantage such as drafting documents, writing reports, summarizing changes to legal documents, generating lecture notes, heightening their creativity, etc.

What are some of the potential dangers?

While some users have found ChatGPT to be helpful, there is another side where people have faced its harmful effects. According to Mashable, people have been outspoken about how the AI chatbot is yet another fuel to the fire of racial profiling.

“The stakes in this movie mishap [where Microsoft Bing’s chatbot thought ‘Avatar 2’ wasn’t out yet] are low, but consider the fact that a judge in Colombia has already used ChatGPT in a ruling — a major area of concern for Black people,” the outlet wrote.

It continued: “We have already seen how the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) algorithm in use in the United States has predicted Black defendants would reoffend at higher rates than their white counterparts. Imagine a ruling written by ChatGPT using arrest data from New York City’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ era, when 90 percent of the Black and brown men stopped by law enforcement were innocent.

Additionally, some users have even gone beyond using ChatGPT for guidance and are using it as their personal therapist.

Axios reports that “Users are filling online forums with accounts of their experiences casting ChatGPT as their personal therapist.” Although it may be a low-cost option, neglecting actual therapy can cause more damage than good.

“OpenAI’s models are not fine-tuned to provide medical information,” the policies wrote, according to Axios. “You should never use our models to provide diagnostic or treatment services for serious medical conditions. OpenAI’s platforms should not be used to triage or manage life-threatening issues that need immediate attention.”

While ChatGPT has shown it can make things more efficient, it’s crucial for the Black community to be cautious of how they’re implementing AI in their lives. AI continues to expand and dominate, which suggests one should do research on their own and use their best judgment.

For a more in-depth discussion about AI, AfroTech is gearing up for AfroTech Executive 2023. Held in Seattle, WA, at the end of March, Black executives, investors, and tech moguls will come together.

In a fireside chat — moderated by Jonnie Bradley, Acting Director and Responsible Artificial Intelligence Official at the U.S. Department of Energy — Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO of Uncharted, will discuss the technology’s environmental impact.

Additionally, there will be a special fireside chat featuring Starbucks Coffee Company CEO Laxman Narasimhan.

To buy tickets and join in on the discussion, click here.