5 potential negative health effects of Generative AI technology

ChatGPT and other language learning technologies have emerged as powerful tools, and they are only just beginning to impact areas like healthcare. However, it is important to exercise caution when using these tools in relation to your own health. Although their potential is promising, understanding the limitations and risks associated with these technologies is essential. Here's how ChatGPT and similar Generative AI systems can affect your health.

1. Worries about AI

Although the term AI anxiety has been around for a few years now, according to the Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, the rapid pace of AI development continues to cause concern for many people.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome AI anxiety while keeping up with the rapid evolution of this technology. For instance, educating yourself about chatbots and incorporating some AI into your own life can help clear many of its mysteries, according to Everyday Health.

For many, the unknown is part of what makes the rapid rise of AI so unsettling, so familiarizing yourself with the basics is a smart starting point. While it may sound a bit counter-intuitive, experimenting with Bard or ChatGPT can help make the app more accessible overall.

2. Inaccurate health information

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The way models like ChatGPT respond to prompts make them seem like they know everything. However, it is important to be careful with their answers, especially when it comes to health questions.

While ChatGPT can provide reliable health information in some cases, the app can still cause hallucinations and give inaccurate health advice. Chances are, you don't trust Google search results to provide accurate, personalized health data, so it's wise to approach AI technology with such caution.

If you have any serious questions about your health, it's best to bring these questions to your healthcare provider. In addition, health care professionals are likely to consider many factors, including your medical history, symptoms, and overall health. AI models may not handle all of these factors to the same degree (at least not quite).

So take the hint and contact your doctor about health issues. Even the best language model cannot provide personalized diagnoses.

3. Technology addiction behavior on the rise

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Technology addiction has been a concern. In particular, addiction to social networks as well as smartphones has increased rapidly in recent years. For many, these habit-forming technologies are hard to break, and people online are informally reporting addiction to ChatGPT and similar AI apps.

 

In fact, experts say AI technology will make the problem of digital addiction worse in the coming years, according to the Pew Research Center. "Digital addiction, already a problem for many people who play video games, watch TikTok or YouTube videos, or people see every tweet, could become an even bigger problem as these and other digital channels become even more personalized," Gary Grossman, senior vice president and global leader of the Center for AI Excellence at Edelman, said in the report.

While this may sound bad, you can certainly take steps to reduce your reliance on the use of the Internet, AI, and technology in general.

4. Health data privacy concerns

For many people, it's easy to use resources like ChatGPT for everyday questions. For instance, the next time you want to learn more about a particular health condition, you can turn to these chatbots for quick feedback.

While quick and simple to use, AI-language tools may not protect any personal health data you enter, as the World Health Organization warns. Be careful if you want to write reminders about sensitive or private health conditions.

Talking to your healthcare provider is still a more reliable and safer way to address any health concerns. When it comes to any information you want to keep to yourself, avoid entering it into the AI.

5. Likelihood of cyber harassment and bullying

Unfortunately, new technology often has the potential to cause harm. Similar to troll bots, abused AI-generated language models can quickly generate harmful and harassing comments. This can cause stress and emotional damage to the person being targeted.

Since AI models can automate these malicious messages and generate them at scale, individuals can be overwhelmed by a large number of comments across multiple platforms. No one wants to deal with this kind of content every time you check social media or send an email.

This is not a new problem, so there are ways to protect yourself from cyberbullying. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, recording messages as well as contacting support from your website administrator or phone company are great first steps.

Almost every social media site has policies in place to deal with these hateful messages from cyber bullies. For example, you can report annoying messages to Facebook, report abusive messages to Instagram, and contact TikTok's moderation team. Report content, block troublesome users, and adjust privacy settings to reduce the risk of cyberbullying.

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