December 19, 2021
The Boston Globe Letters – Globe Opinion: AI, a means of progress, can do harm if in the wrong hands
The Russian invasion of Ukraine throws into sharp focus many urgent global problems that have been neglected for decades, including cybersecurity, disinformation, trade disparities, and dependence on unreliable and environmentally damaging fossil fuels (“Hey Congress, blue and yellow ribbons won’t save Ukrainian lives,” Editorial, March 4). They are all related and all need immediate attention.
An overarching concern that touches on all of these challenges: artificial intelligence technology. This technology can make positive contributions to health care, commerce, and communications. However, in the wrong hands, AI can be used to distort reality, invade individuals’ personal space, and undermine democracy.
Through the Boston Global Forum and the Dukakis Institute, a global effort is underway to create an international accord on AI and digital rights. This accord would establish guardrails for the use and abuse of personal information to drive policy decisions that generate positive pressure and counteract efforts by malignant governments and private entities.
Dozens of heads of state and other world leaders are sharing ideas and recommending solutions to address growing concerns about AI. Without such protections, we are at the mercy of technologically savvy actors who can cause significant damage to our world.
Michael S. Dukakis
Cofounder and chairman
Nguyen Anh Tuan
Cofounder and CEO
Boston Global Forum
Dukakis is the former governor of Massachusetts. Tuan is director of the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation.