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Instant – that is how technology has built itself through its evolution. Among the children birthed out of technology, is the odd sheep called AI, or artificial intelligence.

AI is the subject of much scrutiny, especially on its ethical implications. Several institutions, including the University of the Philippines (UP) and the De La Salle University (DLSU) have already marked the limits on ethical AI use, however, its development seems to go onward march, with no stop in sight.

In the country, where technology is not a stranger to the common "Juan", innovations like AI are considered as pillars of science, with the government placing much needed focus on developing the Philippines’ nascent technology sector.

Locally, 49% of internet users know AI, showing its wide reach within the internet community, according to Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy CEO Germaine Reyes.

Among the wonders AI offers is ChatGPT. GPT stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer, and has the ability to create a seemingly instant and endless grapevine of information with a simple prompt by a human user.

For many, ChatGPT is vital for creating information right at their fingertips, while also providing detailed explanations when prompted by users.

Despite occasional inaccuracies, ChatGPT has democratized access to knowledge, allowing users to explore a wide range of ideas instantly. However, AI has its own problems, including incorrect information, lack of proper crediting, and unclear source materials. Its launch also led to a wild goose chase with its users, with ethical guidelines now needed for responsible use.

AI and its evolution has brought unprecedented access to information, with its make-or-break caveat being significant ethical challenges that should not be ignored.

The recent buzz around Sora, a new AI technology which can generate videos, opens up new possibilities, and concerns. While ChatGPT focuses on generating information in text, Sora focuses on creating AI videos, to which numerous organizations both lauded and criticized.

Sora’s ability to make videos on the fly raises several red flags, as this new technology may be misused.

Among these red flags is its potential to displace graphic artists, directors, producers, and actors. This AI could lead to losses in job opportunities in various industries, particularly those reliant on repetitive or routine tasks.

Adding fuel to the flame, “deepfaking,” or the inserting of faces of people in other models, may be cited as another red flag of video-output AI. Several victims of this modus are Barbie Imperial, Maria Ressa, and Susan Enriquez, whose integrities have been tarnished with the spread of the deepfaked  material to the public eye. 

However, video-output AI can help bring back unrevivable content simply out of imagination. In 2019, visual effects artist Adrian Arcega seemingly brought back showbiz personality Lourdes Carvajal, better known as Inday Badiday, back to life in a music video of band Truefaith, using deepfaking technology.

Recently, comedian trio Vhong Navarro, Jugs Jugueta, and Teddy Corpuz also used this technique to imitate departed comedians with their presentation on “Magpasikat,” a segment of popular noontime show It’s Showtime. The three, using AI technology, brought beloved comedians Dolphy, Tia Pusit, Babalu, and others back to life with a tribute performance.

For Filipinos, and users worldwide, AI and its ethical use is important to establish. While it is true that AI tools are not immune to errors and limitations, it should be recognized that it has made significant strides in enhancing accessibility to information. 

In the Philippines, steps are being taken by the government to embrace the future of AI. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr launched in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting the National AI Strategy, which “seeks to augment the existing skill set of Filipino talents with AI.”

It is important to approach AI with a critical eye, recognizing its limitations and potential pitfalls. For now, AI and ethics remain as hotseat of a debacle as Cha-cha, between compromises and impasse. Although wary of its possible detriments and advancements to society, AI and ethical use must not remain a promise kept as lip-service, but an action taken.

AI and its potential is “sky’s the limit,” offers knowledge, creativity, and opportunity. With no sign of its rollout slowing down, AI as a tool for growth can enable its users to seize better opportunities for a better connected world. While users are challenged with its use, steps can be made to ensure that AI, and technology, remains grounded to the very goal of helping people towards progress.