I am a mathematician with a PhD from 2016 and a long-term user of this website, though I've not been active of late.
I am wondering, should Mathoverflow take a stand against Stackexchange for their use of AI? I believe AI is fundamentally damaging in the long-term to society in many ways, some of which are:
- AI removes human connection from the equation of information sharing. Sharing ideas and information is a fundamental cohesive force in our society and sharing information has always been about two things: the information itself, and developing relationships with other people. AI removes the latter, and creates a world where information sharing is anonymous. Of course, Stackexchange's initial foray into AI isn't a complete replacement, but it is an augmentation that will significantly distort human interaction in a negative way and eventually lead to a greater degree of anonymity.
- AI on a greater societal level is poised to take over almost every sort of creative job, including professor. Previous technologies have never been so poised to take over so many creative jobs. Of course, it's unlikely that AI will be able to do mathematics research any time soon (though it may do so in the future), but as we all know, mathematics is primarily a service department for other sciences and soon that function will be eliminated.
- In the long term, AI taking away jobs such as math professor, artist, and writer, will cause a mass loss of purpose in life and thus a mass wave of depression and lack of direction for humanity. Jobs will be increasingly meaningless, existing merely to further developing more advanced AI systems. The original motivations of research were curiosity and improving the human condition, but we are reaching a tipping point where those values will be stripped from us.
- With great power comes great responsibility, as the saying goes. We hardly have the ability to handle basic power with responsibility (c.f. fossil fuels, the internet). AI is simply too powerful to be used with responsibility by humanity.
In closing, as mathematicians, we have a special viewpoint about the world. We can envision complex systems and far-reaching consequences. And, if we look at such consequences, we must conclude that AI is not just about some minor improvements to search and answers on Stackexchange (the short-term), but about the long-term societal effects of making the world devoid of human connections because removing such connections is the most efficient optimum for big-tech companies to concentrate the wealth of the world into the hands of the few.
Thus, I believe that Mathoverflow should take a stand against AI and do everything possible to remove Mathoverflow from the Stackexchange network. Of course, this might have some short-term pains, but it would send a serious message that society at large should be more wary of what is going on.