The Real Dangers of Generative AI

Issue Date January 2024
Volume 35
Issue 1
Page Numbers 147–162
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As perhaps the most consequential technology of our time, Generative Foundation Models (GFMs) present unprecedented challenges for democratic institutions. By allowing deception and de-contextualized information sharing at a previously unimaginable scale and pace, GFMs could undermine the foundations of democracy. At the same time, the investment scale required to develop the models and the race dynamics around that development threaten to enable concentrations of democratically unaccountable power (both public and private). This essay examines the twin threats of collapse and singularity occasioned by the rise of GFMs.

About the Authors

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Allen Lab for Democracy Renovation at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

View all work by Danielle Allen

E. Glen Weyl

E. Glen Weyl is research lead at Plural Technology Collaboratory and Microsoft Research Special Projects and Chair, Plurality Institute.

View all work by E. Glen Weyl